After initially finding fame as a teenage mom on MTV’s breakout hit 16 & Pregnant, Leah Messer has opened up over the years about her former prescription drug addiction. Her drug dependency, coupled with lifelong depression and anxiety, led her to feel like she “lost” herself before getting clean in 2015. 

When Did Leah Messer’s Drug Addiction Begin?

Leah opened up about her struggles with drug dependency during a November 2018 episode of her podcast “Life Reboot” and revealed the issue was sparked during her labor with daughter Addie in 2013. 

“It was actually the scene, they were talking about how we were being flirty and trying to get back together but honestly, the entire scene was about the botched spinal tap and how Jeremy [Calvert] had to carry me from one room to the next because I couldn’t walk,” Leah said during the podcast episode. “I just went in to deliver Addie and they injected me 13 times and, even in the hospital, I couldn’t get up — and they just put me on morphine.”

Four days after giving birth, Leah couldn’t walk and her condition didn’t improve even after she made the decision to heal at home. 

“They put me on different drugs to go home on for like, three months, three different drugs,” she continued, noting by then she was already dependent on the substances. “Well, then they put me on Diazepam and it has me nodding off. I didn’t even know what that was!” 

Diazepam, more commonly known as Valium, is a controlled substance that is usually prescribed to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures, according to WebMD.

The MTV star — who shares twins Ali and Aleeah with ex-husband Corey Simms and Adalynn with ex-husband Jeremy Calvert — was often captured falling asleep or slurring her words on camera. 

Leah Messer Admitted to Trying Heroin and Other ‘Illegal Activities’

A year later, she gave more insight into the extent of her drug addiction, admitting to trying heroin and engaging in very “illegal activities” before deciding to sober up.

“It was when you can’t find pain medication, there was the heroin. It’s a cheaper and an easier form. I was actually with my dad when I had done it,” she explained on the “Knockin’ Doorz Down” podcast in October 2020. “I just want to feel normal, but I’m either in so much physical pain that I can barely stand, or so foggy from the pills that I look like a junkie.”

Did Leah Messer Go to Rehab for Her Drug Addiction?

About a year after her daughter Addie’s birth, Leah’s addiction came to a standstill when she considered driving her car off a cliff in 2015.  

The 16 & Pregnant alum ultimately checked herself into a rehabilitation facility at the persuasion of Teen Mom producer Larry Musnik

Leah Slammed MTV for Taking ‘Advantage’ of Her Drug Addiction

Ahead of her return on Teen Mom: The Next Chapter in July 2023, Leah slammed the network in an explosive interview with Teen Vogue, claiming they “took advantage” of her during that dark period in her life. 

“You can see me high. Cut the cameras,” Leah explained during the interview, which was published on June 22. “You can see me falling asleep or whatever. Cut the cameras and immediately do an intervention … instead of using it for the benefit of TV and drama.” 

According to the profile story, the Hope, Grace & Faith author could not recall a time when the production crew stopped filming “an obviously high young mother as she struggled to take care of her children.” 

While a producer of the series told Teen Vogue that they were simply following the “principles of documentary filmmaking — we document, we don’t intervene,” the West Virginia native acknowledges that without Larry, she might not have accepted help.

“It’s bittersweet because I probably wouldn’t have been able to get the help I had without [MTV],” she said. “So I thank them. Then it’s also like, damn, something could have been done differently, without a shadow of a doubt.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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