Amber Portwood explains why she chose prison over rehab
"16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" star Amber Portwood made headlines earlier this week when she chose to serve a five-year prison sentence over completing a drug-rehab program for an illegal prescription drug charge. In a recent interview, the reality star explained her decision to serve time behind bars.
Portwood spoke in an interview with "Good Morning America", which aired on June 7. She revealed a recent suicide attempt and stated that she believes her time in prison will be a better option for her.
"I felt like I'd rather do my time, and get it over with, and make the best out of the situation that's been handed to me," Portwood said.
"I was very depressed. I was alone. I was bitter with everybody and I didn't feel like that was the life I wanted to live," Portwood, 22, added about her recent suicide attempt. "I had taken 30 Suboxone within about three days. You know, the depression took over and I just take four or five at a time underneath my tongue and nod out."
Suboxone is used to treat people with opioid addiction. That attempt marked the second time Portwood tried to commit suicide. The reality star was rushed to the hospital in 2011 after she spoke about contemplating suicide during a phone call with ex-boyfriend Gary Shirley. Shirley and Portwood are parents to 3-year-old daughter Leah.
In 2011, Portwood was put on probation and given a suspended two-year jail sentence for assaulting Shirley. The sentence was the result of a December 2010 domestic battery arrest. She was accused of assaulting him in front of their child in 2009 and was seen hitting him on a September 2010 episode of "Teen Mom."
Portwood was sentenced to prison on June 5. This recent sentence stemmed from a December 2011 arrest for possession of prescription drugs. In January 2012, her lawyer struck a plea deal that would allow her to be sent to rehab rather than serve prison.
However, in late May, Portwood was arrested for violating her drug probation after failing a urine test and lying about it. It was then she told an Indiana judge that she would rather serve time in jail over the court-ordered drug program.
"In my situation, I felt in the program there were a lot of eyes on me. And it was very uncomfortable," Portwood said about rehab treatment.
Portwood also explained her plans for her time behind bars, which is expected to only last two-and-a-half-years due to credit given for 120 days previously spent in jail. She could also get another 30-day reduction if she completes a drug rehab program in prison. The rest of her five-year sentence would be served on parole.
"I'm going to take some classes, I'm going to get my GED, take as many programs as I can. You know, just try to better myself for when I do get out and not stay in prison," Portwood said. "I'll be off the drugs, I'll have an education to get me a job, you have to think of the positives in this negative story."
Portwood is expected to appear on the final season of "Teen Mom," which premieres on June 12 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV. See Portwood's interview below.