REPORT Amber Portwood addicted to Suboxone, using prison to quit cold turkey

Teen Mom amber Portwood mugshot May 2012

On Thursday Teen Mom Amber Portwood shocked an Indiana courtroom when she asked to be sent back to prison to serve out her five-year sentence in lieu of returning to the court drug program. She admitted to the judge that she has never been able to stay clean, even while enrolled in the program, and now TMZ is reporting that the drug she is addicted to is Suboxone.

****Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction, and contrary to what TMZ reported, it is NOT like morphine. In fact, it blocks the effects of opiates like morphine, heroin, and codeine if used correctly under medical supervision.*****

Sources tell TMZ, “immediately following the reality TV star’s incarceration, her last drug test came back positive for the drug Suboxone.” Law enforcement sources tell the site that she bought the drug off the street while in the drug court program, which leads us to believe that she taking Suboxone outside a controlled medical regimen.

The site has been told “Amber believes prison is the only way to get clean because it will force her to kick the addiction cold turkey.”

Despite this information from TMZ, as we posted below, Suboxone is used to help people treat opiate addictions.

Amber is currently being held awaiting sentencing.

Here is some more information on Suboxone from, part of which suggests “cold turkey” is not a recommended way of breaking a Suboxone addiction:

Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. Buprenorphine is similar to other opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin however, it produces less euphoric (“high”) effects and therefore may be easier to stop taking.

Naloxone( a secondary chemical in Suboxone,) blocks the effects of opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin.

If Suboxone is injected, naloxone will block the effects of buprenorphine and lead to withdrawal symptoms in a person with an opioid addiction. When administered under the tongue as directed, naloxone will not affect the actions of buprenorphine.

Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction.

Suboxone can cause death from overdose, especially if it is injected with a tranquilizer. Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor.

Suboxone can cause drug dependence. This means that withdrawal symptoms may occur if you stop using this medication too quickly.Withdrawal symptoms may also occur at the start of treatment due to dependence on another drug. Suboxone is not for occasional (“as needed”) use. Do not stop taking Suboxone without first talking to your doctor. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce the dose to avoid or minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Once again, we wish the best for Amber as well as her daughter Leah, Gary Shirley, and her family. Although it is a heart-breaking thing to see someone willingly serve out a lengthy prison sentence because they feel helpless breaking a drug addiction, perhaps being in a strictly controlled environment will be able to help Amber be strong enough to finally put drug abuse in her past.

  • tab

    yeah right. quit cold turkey. everyone knows that drugs are so easy to get in prison. that’s why she chose that over rehab.

    • Sara

      Wow, what the h?…you’re assuming the worse of everyone, aren’t you? You’d think she would serve a 5 year sentence to do drugs?! Yeah, right..! No one in his/her right mind would do that, especially if she has been able to get it that easily.

      • tab

        let me catch you up here:
        amber is addicted to drugs.
        drug addicts ARE NOT in their right minds!!!
        it’s extremely easy to get drugs inside of prison.

        • dumb

          She’s not going to prison BECAUSE she thinks it will be easy to get drugs there. Even if it is easy, that isn’t the reason she is doing it. It would be WAY easier to get away with doing drugs while in a drug program outside of prison than to spend that much time behind bars. You’re being ridiculous.

        • Sara

          WHAT?! Some twisted logic you have. It’s obvious you don’t know what it is to struggle with an addiction. So shut your trap, and stop judging!

  • Good luck hun i have family addicted and see its not easy! Use your little girl as a focus point to get better!!! Much prayer going out for you!

  • amanda

    Its websites and articles like this that make a bad name for SUBOXONE. I struggled with pain pill addiction and suboxone saved my life. Suboxone DOES NOT MAKE YOU HIGH AND DOES NOT CAUSE A FREAKING EUPHORIC EFFECT! Whoever wrote this article is plain stupid and has no knowledge of suboxone or what it is used for. It is used to help pain pill addicts get OFF OF PAIN PILLS!!!! Had suboxone not been there for me, I’d be dead or in prison. No joke. I know hundreds of people who were saved by this medication as well. Whoever wrote this- I have a tip for you- research this before you spout your BS about something you know nothing about!

    • Jason Bordeaux

      Well said friend. These fools do not have a clue. It saved some of my family and my son as well. God bless…

      • Starcasm Staff

        Again, we apologize for posting the info that TMZ published comparing Suboxone to morphine.

    • Stefani

      Amanda- I’m happy to hear that you are better now.. good for you!

    • Katrina

      Thank you Amanda for your comments- I totally agree with you. Soboxone saved my life- without it I would have died from my heroin addiction. This article is pretty ridiculous & had they actually researched suboxone, instead of just copying & pasting from, they would find it is used by most doctors when trying to help someone kick an opiate addiction.

      Also, suboxone does not get you high- believe me, I was on an incredibly large dosage & never once did I feel high- it saved my life but because of articles like this, people are being given bad information on a drug thay has saved millions of lives.

      And let me just say that suboxone is NOTHING like morphine- absolutely nothing like it & to imply that it is is just out-right wrong. People need to do a little research before posting articles like this.

      • Starcasm Staff


        Thanks for your comment. The info we “copied and pasted” from DOES say that it is used to treat opiate addiction, and even says that it blocks the effects of morphine and heroin. We DO apologize for republishing the info from TMZ, but the information from still seems correct.

    • Jaime

      Couldn’t agree with you more Amanda…saved my life as well….best wishes!!!

    • hello there!

      actually subs were the “it” thing to do for a while around m area YES it does get you high but it is a different high. it messes u up. I have perosnally experimented with drugs and i did subs for 3 months straight and i just randomly stop doing them because every time i would look at them it made me sick.

      So how about this, yes it is a way for people to endure pain and what not but it IS a way to get high….do YOUR research

    • Kim

      Hey Amanda,

      Yeah I was addict to pain pills for seven years. I have chronic back pain and I got addicted to the pills. Anyway went to rehab and was introduced to my best friend…SOBOXINE. Been clean over a year! I can’t say how much It has improved my life. But I do occasionally and I don’t know why but I get a tiny tiny high sometimes. ; )

  • Ang

    You are aware of the fact that almost that entire article was taken from and the other few words about suboxone was quoted from TMZ. maybe you should pitch your fit with them.

    • Jason Bordeaux


  • Forrest

    Does anyone know if Suboxone and pills work?
    Or are pills enough?
    I want to kill myself.

    • Cel

      Please don’t kill yourself, you’ve got to much to live for 🙁
      Keep that strong faith in God, sweetie.

    • Jen

      Call 1800SUICIDE

    • cj

      nooo! suicide is not the anser! i woud kno. get some help asap

    • Cel

      Excuse me, but I know Forrest personally, and he is not weak. So don’t go off telling him, or anyone else to kill themselves.
      May be to late now, only The good Lord knows.

      And Starcasm Staff, can you please do something with this Jason Bordeaux, it would really help if you can. Because he sure is making me sick to my stomach.
      God love him…

      • Starcasm Staff

        That user has now been banned from our website.

        • Forrest

          Dear, Starcasm Staff
          I didn’t kill myself, and I wasnt planning to either.I was sad and I am depressed.
          But I don’t want anyone banned for my lies. And not Cel! Please don’t ban me. I’m sorry 🙁

  • Alyssa

    I agree with Amanda, although I am not blaming this site for some of the incorrect information. Suboxone also helped me get through a terrible addiction and it does not give you any kind of high or euphoric feeling whatsoever. It just helps the patient feel “normal” while they are kicking their habit.Yes there is an opiate-based substance in it, but there is also another substance in it that blocks euphoric feelings from getting to the brain receptors. If people take it who are not opioid dependent, it most likely wont even give them a will just make them sick as hell. This medication is a life-saver to many many people and it does upset me that it is given a bad rep. Again, I do not blame this site for the info they got 🙂 Just thought I’d share my opinion and experience with the medication. Good luck to Amber, hopefully she can get her life back on track.

    • Starcasm Staff

      We apologize for reporting the information TMZ reported that Suboxone was like morphine.

      • Alyssa

        No worries 🙂 I just thought I would share my experience with the medication. I thought the article was well written, I just wanted to put it out there that suboxone isn’t quite as bad as TMZ was making it sound.

      • Jason Bordeaux

        Why doesn’t your staff do their on RESEARCH? As when you trust trash TV such as “TMZ” you will never get the “Truth.”

  • Hanna

    Umm any kind of drug can be miss matter if it helps one person or yall are the ones that needs to get your facts straight..not every drug is going to be the for every one person

  • Marissa

    As said above suboxone saved my life after becoming addicted to pain medication given to me by a doctor due to an injury. It doesn’t get you high! There will always be people that use drugs incorrectly and its a damn shame. Suboxone could be a life saver for Amber as well if she gets it from a doctor and uses it correctly!

  • Hanna

    But she has miss used it and is now addicated to it, so some how it does get her high or makes her feel that way..and she feels the only way to get clean in prison then good for her..i knw of ppl who have gotten clean due to being in prison

  • Pharmacist

    Suboxone does NOT get you high. If you use it as directed you do not get high. It blocks you from having the ability to get high from opiates. This article is incorrect.

    • Starcasm Staff

      The information from TMZ may be incorrect, but we did include the info from saying that it is used to treat opiate addiction, and that it blocks the effects of morphine, heroin, and other opiates.

  • Katelyn

    For the people that have used the drug the stop others then good for you. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do something for her than for you, you obviously had a high tolerance with the pain meds you were on and when taking this suboxone it didn’t give you the same high that you felt with the pain pills. She probably started taking it before pain pills and that is why she gets a euphoric time on it. It’s the same with methadone, adderal, really anything. Methadone is used to treat people addicted with heroin also but if someone that hasn’t done heroin and takes it then they would get a similar effect to as taking heroin as to someone that has done heroin for awhile and takes methadone to treat it, it will be a completely different high. I wish the best for her, I feel sorry for her and Gary and Leah, I hope she gets healthy and comes out clean and ready to be the best mom.

  • Zac

    This is a disgrace for everyone that uses Suboxone to help them get clean. Suboxone is a life saver. I know this from experience, and yes it has saved MY LIFE.. Opiate addiction is a very serious situation for everyone involved and Suboxone is the #1 thing that can help addicts.. I can’t believe that the media is making it look like Oxy or Morphine.. I am sick to my stomach that this is being published like this..

    • Brittany

      It is true. When you’ve developed a tolerance to other opiates, suboxones are sold on the street and used to get high. I’ve had personal experience with it. It may not be intended to be used like that but it certainly does the job if you’re not under a doctors orders using the subs.

      • Jason Bordeaux

        WRONG! There is no buzz at all on that drug ever. Get your untrue “facts” RIGHT for a change.

  • Dianna

    this may be the first good decision shes made in a while. sometimes you do have to do things like put yourself in prison to get away from the drug and from the people who sell them and do them with you. yes some drugs go around in prison but since the people that work there know that she has a drug problem maybe they will keep a close eye on her. she also has to realize that when she gets out shes going to have to face the real world and find enough will power to no start using again.

  • Brittany

    I had a pain pill addiction for years and when hydros and perks weren’t effective enough to get me high (Developed a tolerance) I used suboxone. It DOES get you high. ESPECIALLY when crushed and swallowed or snorted. I’ve never injected anything in my life, but suboxones are very popular where I’m from and definately get you high when you run out of other options.. Or if you want a STRONGER high than just a normal hydro or percocet…

  • cj

    wow alotta “suboxone savd my life ” coments it maks me sad cuz God saved MY life when i had pain pill adiction

    • cj

      and He helpd me with alt more . but yea!

    • Cel

      God is great! I wish more people would realize that.

  • Allison

    I don’t think she’ll be very popular in prison. 😐

  • Dr

    Thanks for the correction.

  • clonie1986

    Omg… going thru withdrawal in prison… 10 yr veteran n I couldn’t even do that. It will destroy her mentally. She will never b the same

  • clonie1986

    Wow. She’s gonna b in for a Huge surprise. I’m a 10 yr opiate addict, nit proud. But going thru withdrawal in prison…. will destroy her. Mentally shell never be the same. Ever.

  • clonie1986

    In 26 n have been addicted to fentanyl for almost 11 years. I couldn’t even do what she is. I’m sur if I HAD to..

  • Wpgersrule

    yeahhhhhh i kicked an OC addiction cold turkey…4 yr habbit…no suboxen, no mehodone sooooooo u dont need shit,