"Teen Mom" star Amber Portwood is speaking out about her time in prison and her hopes for the future. Portwood was released early from the Indiana Rockville Correctional Facility last month and has been busy rebuilding her life and developing a relationship with daughter Leah.
"Before prison, I never thought about Leah. I was addicted to drugs and didn't care about anything else. Prison saved my life – and gave me a second chance at being a mother," Portwood told In Touch Weekly.
The "Teen Mom" was addicted to Vicodin and Ambien and also struggled with severe anger issues. At her lowest point,
Portwood chose to spend up to five years in prison to get clean and deal with her issues rather than remain on the outside and receive out-patient therapy. Prison turned out to be the best place for her, though, as she was able to completely focus on herself and finally confront her addictions.
"It felt like a nightmare," she said of her initial reaction to prison. "Feeling humiliated and vulnerable (from the strip search), you literally have nothing and walk around like a zombie. There were times I reached a breaking point. I knew the only person who could get me out of there was me."
Portwood's family did their best to support her while she was incarcerated. Her mother visited five times, and she was able to see daughter Leah three times. Since her release, Portwood has been able to spend a great deal more time with Leah, and the two had a celebratory slumber party.
"Their first night together, they spent all night talking, doing each other's hair and makeup and watching movies," Portwood's brother, Shawn, told In Touch last month. "Leah fell asleep in the middle of a sentence! Amber wanted to show her that she was there when Leah woke up."
Portwood now plans on enrolling in school to further her education and is working with a program entitled Never Too Late, which helps people dealing with addictions find help.