Teen Mom crew member addresses Ryan Edwards driving while high: Could they have stopped him?

Ryan Edwards driving high

The Teen Mom OG finale episode featured a terrifying scene in which Ryan Edwards is seen driving while obviously high. He nods off repeatedly as he struggles to keep his eyes open before his fiance Mackenzie Standifer, who is in the passenger seat, turns off the dashboard cameras and is then heard asking “Did you take Xanax again?”

The disturbing scene, which was preceded by a warning message for viewers from MTV, had many questioning the ethics of Teen Mom OG producers for allowing Ryan to drive in the condition he was in given that he was a threat to his own safety as well as Mackenzie’s and anyone else on the road at the time.

One of the crew members spoke anonymously with The Ashley’s Reality Roundup to clarify their culpability in the incident:

“The reason the producers didn’t stop Ryan from driving after he was seen nodding off is because the producers would not have been able to see him nodding off,” the crew member tells The Ashley. “That footage (and almost all car footage) is captured on Go-Pro cameras installed on the dashboard. We do not have a live feed to watch the cast in their car, despite what some viewers think. We do not have live eyes on them the whole time we’re filming them.

“That footage is captured and watched a few days later after the producers/crew get home from the shoot. It’s edited in later. When things happen in the car, we don’t know about it until the cast tells us, or when we watch the footage later on.”

It’s clear that there are no crew members in the car with Ryan and Mackenzie, but they often travel in another vehicle. “Even if the crew was following Ryan while driving, they weren’t in the car with him and could not see what was happening,” the source says. “Had he been violently swerving or something, they absolutely would have called to see what was happening and would have intervened. In that situation, though, the only person aware of what was happening would be a passenger in the car.”

Although the source doesn’t say Ryan and Mackenzie were being followed by a crew member, I feel it is important to point out that he was swerving, though it doesn’t seem to be violently. “Why are you swerving?” Mackenzie asks Ryan early on in their trip.

“My eyes babe!” Ryan responds, still wearing his sunglasses at this point. “In the sunlight, I can’t keep ’em open.”

A common theme to those upset at show producers is accusations that they will “do anything” for higher ratings. The crew source adamantly denies this, pointing out that not only are they personal friends with most all of the cast members, they are also on the hook legally if something were to happen. “The show would have been absolutely liable had Ryan gotten into an accident or something while filming, even if the producers were not aware that he was under the influence. It doesn’t matter, we are still liable. They would be risking their jobs and possibly be liable personally for allowing that to happen.”

The source does not address the fact that Ryan appeared to CLEARLY be high in a scene shot prior to him driving Mackenzie to their wedding. In that scene, Ryan is talking with Mackenzie about the wedding happening in a just a few hours, and he is already having difficulty keeping his eyes open:

Ryan Edwards high

Even if producers were to claim that the time that elapsed between this scene and the other was too much for them to know that he was still high, Ryan staggers away from Mackenzie in the earlier scene and frantically yells “I need to take a shower after I get done taking a haircut,” before getting in his truck to drive away.

There was also the moment that Ryan arrived to pick Mackenzie up. (You might recall his big “Wow!” when he first saw Mackenzie in her dress.) Given how he was acting shortly before, should the crew have at least taken him aside to ascertain if he was OK to drive? I realize that all of this is in hindsight, but Ryan was so clearly and severely under the influence in the previous scene, that somebody should have said or done something (Mackenzie included!) before letting him get behind the wheel.

On a side note, some viewers have pointed out that in the scene with Mackenzie, while Ryan is playing with a remote controlled car, you can see what appears to be a scar on his let forearm. It resembles a needle injection scar, which has some speculating that Ryan may have been using heroin:

Rumored Ryan Edwards heroin scar on his arm

If Ryan was using heroin, it would apparently be in addition to Xanax. In the driving scene, Mackenzie turns off the dashboard cameras but seemingly forgets that she is still wired for audio when she asks Ryan, “Did you take Xanax again?”

“I don’t… I don’t have any,” Ryan responds.

“You did,” Mackenzie affirms, but Ryan remains in denial. “I put that on my kid’s life,” he says.

On a positive note, one day after his secret May 15 wedding, Ryan checked into a rehab facility. The Teen Mom OG dad finally confirmed his rehab stint in a statement issued to Us Weekly:

A little over 30 days ago, I made the decision to check myself into a rehabilitation facility. I am back home now doing well, and life could not be better. Without the support of my wife and parents I would not have been able to do this. Thank you all for your well wishes.

Us Weekly also got a statement from MTV about the driving scene with Ryan, which mirrored that of The Ashley’s crew source — albeit in less detail:

MTV does not condone driving under the influence. Ryan’s erratic behavior was due to actions that he took without anyone’s prior knowledge.

The scene in the finale also had folks looking back at Ryan’s car crash in December of 2014. Ryan was seriously injured after hitting another woman head-on. Multiple sources told TMZ that they witnessed Ryan’s car “swerve across double yellow lines — while apparently speeding — and smash into another woman’s vehicle.”

That accident has many speculating that Ryan’s drug abuse issues may have been going on for a long time, which would confirm what his ex Dalis Connell has recently said.

Either way, it is obviously better to have Ryan’s drug abuse problems FINALLY out in the open. It’s great to know that he took the step to enter rehab — I just hope that the 30 days (plus whatever outpatient therapy he is currently receiving) will be enough to get his life back on track.

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  • Nedly Mandingo IV

    No excuse. MTV should have reported Ryan to the authorities the moment they went over that film. They didn’t. They would rather treat him like a little snowflake then risk him getting upset and leaving the show. His now wife also had a responsibility to demand he pull over. She instead turned off the cameras…wrong move bish! Ryan was endangering everyone on the road that day and Mackenzie (or however she spells her name) had a duty to get him away from the driver’s seat. She condoned his driving and saw no issue with correcting his steering over and over again. This is nothing but evidence to use against Ryan and Mackenzie in their battle to get Bentley. If I was a judge, I would rule against Ryan in a heartbeat.

    • FYO

      There’s nothing the police could have done regardless. The footage doesn’t show him using any substances. It’s not a toxicology report on his blood at the time. The footage obviously doesn’t look good but it also doesn’t show evidence of drug use or a crime being committed. By all accounts, you can easily argue Ryan was simply tired. Obviously he shouldn’t have been driving and he likely was under the influence of something, but there’s no actual proof and that makes all the difference. Had he been pulled over (for the swerving), he would’ve been fhucked.

  • Amanda_56

    Anyone know what kinds of drugs would do that? I’m curious as to what he was on but I don’t know anything about drugs…

    • AWill

      Benzos for sure will. Pain killers as well, but they tend to make the person very itchy as well. Heroin.. But people usually lose a ton of weight on that… He didn’t look that way to me.

      • victorg

        i have to take Oxy for chronic pain. for me…i get wired and talkative. but to not get into an addiction problem…i take less than i am told i should.

    • Juliana

      I once had this same thing happen to me while I was driving. I pulled over when I couldn’t keep my eyes open while driving. I took tylenol #3 for cramps every month and my sister gave me something else to try that day. It was the combination of my regular medication and that other prescription. It happened the same exact way, I couldn’t keep my eyes open while driving but I was fine otherwise. I could function just fine except for driving.

  • cwokc

    MTV is lying! They still have more than one car following when filming with the entire crew in tow! The saw the car swerving and they’re wired. I can go on about production, but I know these creeps do whatever for ratings! I was sick after watching that. I’m glad no one was hurt. FYI I’m not defending Ryan

    • FYO

      MTV is not lying. Do you know how expensive it would be to have a full production crew following cast everywhere they go? Why do you think they fill the casts cars with GoPro cameras instead of a camera operator and a mic operator? The only thing sending a full production crew would get you every time is a huge production costs and a ton of external car footage, 99.9% of which won’t get used.

      There’s no conspiracy or cover-up, you simply don’t know much about tv production.

      • Juliana

        But they were following them to the courthouse in order to film the wedding ceremony. There’s actually a quick clip of the van they were driving behind the car shown. The van was there and could see Ryan driving all over the place.

        But MacKenzie wanted to get married more than she wanted to save herself or Ryan and that made me sick. How could she marry him after that car ride??? I would have called for a Taxi to take me home…….

        • FYO

          MTV has stated they weren’t following Ryan at that time. You claim they were. You’ll have to argue with MTV about it.

    • Juliana

      It made me sick to. Watching that made me so upset that I still haven’t gotten over it yet, almost a week later. My ex died in a crash when he hit a tree while riding a Harley. He had been drinking all day….. It’s been a nightmare for my family ever since. It never goes away no matter how much times passes. I have to live with his choices of drinking and driving and getting killed…..

  • Kaia Elle Murray

    30 days is only detox I don’t understand why these places even offer that short period of time. hell sometimes 6+ months isn’t enough. Anyone that abuses substances needs extensive therapy and and real life tools to learning to cope in life. If a person wants to get high they will. Once you’re detoxed it’s all about choices and your own will. I don’t see him staying clean for long. I’ve known of people to get high the same day out of rehab.

    • Juliana

      That’s why they strongly suggest while in rehab that they go to AA or NA which is/could be a long term solution…

  • DobabyR

    Screw MTV what about his damn fiancee that hopped right into the damn car with him

    • FYO

      Exactly! The only thing she did was nudge him and give him dirty looks. She’s lucky he didn’t crash and kill them both.

  • victorg

    i dont know. they are filming their lives. if anything…Mackenzie should have stopped him from driving. the question should be…why didnt she.

    • Juliana

      Getting married was more important to her in that moment is possibly the only explanation. But that brings up another big question… Why would she marry him not only in that condition but after that fiasco nightmare drive to do it.

      • victorg

        desperate woman (or desperate to be on TV). there is nothing that makes him a catch. he probably still suckles at his MaMa’s teat. she and his dad have done him NO favors by enabling him.

  • theStevieJBus

    I really don’t blame MTV here. The person to blame is Mackenzie who let Ryan get behind the wheel and was more concerned about the cameras than making him pull over and her taking over. I’m really suspicious of this girl she seems like she might be a fame wh**e. I also question Macy’s motives in all this, she contacted a counselor so she could talk ON CAMERA about Ryan’s drug issues but yet never went to him or his parents about the drugs. No wonder Ryan has all these issues, he has some toxic women in his life.

    • FYO

      For some reason a lot of people are pointing their finger at MTV, who has zero liability. There’s less outrage towards Mackenzie, who was actually in the car and not doing anything to stop Ryan other than nudging him and giving him dirty looks. She chose to marry a using drug addict so that right there says plenty about her maturity and decision making.

      Maci said she tried to talk to Ryan but he wouldn’t respond. She tried talking to Jen & Larry but they can’t control Ryan. Maybe Maci talked to a counselor on camera because that was the best way for her to take action when Ryan ignores her and Ryans parents are useless to help. I don’t question her motives at all.

      • theStevieJBus

        I disagree with you on Maci, forcing the issue on camera seemed like a self serving IMHO and accomplished nothing. Ryan ought treatment before this stuff came out so he did it of his own will in his own time which is what any addict will do.

        • FYO

          Self-serving in what way? She seems genuinely scared for her sons safety, and Ryans safety as the boys father. I suppose you think she was fake-crying when she was talking about it. Maci is not wrong for wanting Ryan to get help, however it has to happen.

          Also, you don’t know the circumstances which led to Ryan checking into rehab. We’ve seen in the past that the only time he responds is when he is threatened with real consequences. I don’t believe Ryan reached bottom and went to rehab out of a sincere desire to get sober because there’s absolutely nothing that points to that, and a history that points to the contrary.

          • theStevieJBus

            Talking to a counselor on camera is self serving, none of that benefited anyone but Ryan. I’m on the fence about Maci’s feelings part of me thinks she’s still in love with him and is bitter about the way things ended and the other part of me thinks she is just enjoys tearing Ryan down.

            • FYO

              How is it self-serving to Maci to talk to a counselor on camera when Ryan and his parents basically just ignore her attempts to communicate with them? I don’t think this is as petty as you seem to think it is. I think she cares for Ryan only in the sense that he is her sons father, but I don’t believe she wants a relationship with him. I don’t believe she wants to tear him down either. There just isn’t any evidence to suggest otherwise. I guess time will tell who’s right about it.

            • LoLo

              I feel doing it on camera made it clear that she was not covering or keeping quiet anymore. It’s not like this happened overnight. I would bet there were conversations off camera & that the reason she doesn’t let Bentley go over there as much is because he refused to get clean & Jen & Larry are in denial. Bentley is 8, he can understand things now & she’s protecting him in the long run. No one wants the father of their child to die. I would bet she’s talked about this with them & was to the point where she had not choice but to out him for the sake of his life, Bentley’s safety & for him not to kill someone driving.

              If he got in an accident & killed someone people would be saying “Maci knew he was an addict & didn’t try to help him”.

              • Juliana

                That happened to me and my children almost 10 years ago. Me and my kids were at our family condo at the beach my ex and his 3rd wife and newborn came down for the day. Me and ex wound up in the usual fight about his drinking.

                He defended it as usual and told me he only drank on Saturday’s. So what he was telling me was he was trying to control his drinking. He was always in complete denial about his drinking. That was the last time I saw him and the last conversation/fight we ever had.

                Three weeks later he was dead aftering hitting a tree while riding a Harley after drinking all day. It was a Saturday!!!! Our oldest son to this day still cries over losing his father, he misses him so much. It will be 10 years in September and my son is still a mess when it comes to what his father did…..

                • LoLo

                  That’s terrible. I know it pains you to know your son is hurt like that. You have to know you did what you could & you cannot fight someone’s addictions for them. So sad to hear.

                  Some fans think it was wrong for Maci to out him on tv & that she did it for her own agenda. Could be, I don’t know her. BUT, I feel like she’s just had enough. She knows Bentley loves Ryan & how if anything happened to him it would affect her child for the rest of his life. I would bet money that she’s talked to him about it, probably Jen & Larry too. At some point you have to say “my son comes before your secret”.

                  • Juliana

                    My ex was my son’s best friend and my son is a very sensitive soul. It crushes me when my son begins talking about his father and it almost always ends in him breaking down sobbing because he misses him so much.

                    He was on his 3rd marriage and here I was fighting with him over his drinking. Why wasn’t his wife fighting for him to stop? Why did I have that fight with him constantly? I didn’t want him to be dead because of his drinking but I knew it was going to kill him. We had the same fight for 30 years, it was nothing new. His widow said he only had one or two beers that day and I laughed to myself thinking he’s NEVER had just one or two EVER.

                    I know we can’t save anyone but ourselves but when children are involved someone has to say something. I truly believe Maci has good intentions I just don’t respect her airing it on nationa tv. Ryan’s addiction is his to deal with and it should have been up to him to reveal it nationally. MacKenzie, that girl was more worried about getting married than his or her life!!!

                    • LoLo

                      I feel for you. My husband lost his father at 13 of a heart attack. Not addiction but it still affected him. I don’t know about Maci. Maybe this was the only way to make Jen & Larry face the truth. Put it out there & they can’t deny it anymore. If Bentley wasn’t visiting them, that’s a different story. I know that if my 8 yr old was going to be around Ryan & he refused to talk to me or go get help on his own, I might be forced to out him too trying to wake him up. I could not imagine the worry she would feel letting Bentley be around him.

        • LoLo

          I disagree. For years Ryan & his parents have blamed Maci for not letting Ryan get more time with Bentley. Ryan has called her names, said he would choke her. But, they left out the part that Ryan was an addict & that’s the real reason. Enough is enough. How long was Maci supposed to cover for him as he worsened? It’s to the point where Bentley is old enough to understand & is in danger being alone with Ryan. If you pushed me for more time & tried to label me as selfish with Bentley then I will call you out for the reason why. This didn’t just happen, it’s been going on for awhile that is why Bentley goes to Jen’s instead of to Ryans.

      • LoLo

        I agree with you. Apparently this was going on for some time. That is why Bentley goes to Larry & Jen’s instead of over to Ryan’s. I think Maci held it in long enough but as things worsened she couldn’t anymore. Jen, Larry & Ryan have all said Maci was keeping Bentley from them & how unfair it is for years. If I were Maci I would have done the same thing. They blame her for holding Bentley back but never say why she was doing it. Enough is enough. Jen & Larry are sweet people but total enablers to the point where their child could die or kill someone else. They want to look perfect instead of admitting that Ryan is a danger to Bentley & that’s the reason why they don’t get him more.

        • Kel2707

          She kept Bentley from them but had no problem letting them keep her daughter who’s not their grandchild when it was convenient for her. That’s why I sometimes question her motives.

          • LoLo

            She let Jen babysit 1 time & that was with MTV cameras there. She wasn’t keeping Bentley from Jen & Larry, she trusts them. That is why Bentley does visitation there. She started limiting their time with him because of Bentley getting older & being able to see what was going on. It’s basically, stop defending & enabling your son or else Bentley can’t go over there unless he has too because he shouldn’t be exposed to it. I am FAR from a Maci fan but in this case push came to shove & her son is the priority.

          • FYO

            It’s out in the open now. Ryan is and has been a drug addict for quite some time. Jen & Larry haven’t done anything but make excuses and cover for him. Even Maci has covered for him. And when it all got to be too much, people actually want to label Maci the bad guy in the situation? It’s absurd.

            • Kel2707

              I’m not labeling her the bad guy because when it comes to your child, it’s your job to do what’s best for them it’s just I think she has other motives…not just Bentley’s safety

    • Kel2707

      I also question Maci’s motives. I understand her concern because if he’s high, then I wouldn’t want my son around him either. She seems like she wants to be the one that saved him and fixed the problem. I feel sorry for her husband bc every single episode she talks about Ryan, even before the addiction problems came to light

      • theStevieJBus

        I agree, I always felt that Maci has never gotten over Ryan and that could be why she is so involved with him and probably why his other relationships haven’t worked out.

        • Baby Hooker

          As soon as this was brought up by her I saw right through it. She was a) using his addiction to fuel her storyline and b) she wants to be the hero/martyr that saves his life. It’s almost as if she’s going “Hey, look at me! Im his first love that’s going to save his life!”. I was so glad the counselor told her it wasn’t her place to be his “strength”, if anything it’s Mackenzie and Ryan’s job to be each other’s strength in this. Let’s face it, without the Ryan addiction what would Maci’s arc be this year? Nothing. More seasons of her talking in her gravelly ciggy filled voice complaining for the millionth time about how hard it is to have two babies, babies that SHE made while having unprotected sex. Ih wait, or more scenes with Bud Lights and contrived “surprise” parties. She used his addiction to pump life into her boring season. Furthermore, I don’t believe for a second she just found out about his drug use. She actually says “I didn’t know it was THIS bad”, so on some level she knew he was using something but wants us to believe she just found out and immediately took action. Why is no one holding her accountable to a degree for allowing Bentley to spend time with a dad that is drugged out and not even aware his son is there?

          • theStevieJBus

            You make some good points, if Ryan is that bad off why is Maci letting Bentley be around him? I question if the drugs are really Ryan’s problem, I don’t doubt that he is taking him but I think the real issue with him is depression and he is self medicating with drugs. He aloofness and not caring about anything make me think the issue is depression. I also think that Maci and his dad played a role in his issues, Maci is always belittling him on screen to Bentley and his dad was always on his case telling him to get married so they can have more grankids. People don’t realize how their words can affect people.

            • Baby Hooker

              All that, I care about him is bullship. She says this now but next season it will be “Ryan is a deadbeat. Ryan is a dumbaas. Ryan doesn’t desrve Bentley” etc. I also used to think Ryan was depressed. His deadpan disconnected look in early seasons didnt spell drugs to me, it seemed like something else was going on. Who knows. We don’t know for sure why he started using. I think the best thing for everyone is to just cancel both these shows. Maci loves to talk about the show teaching people lessons. It’s never taught anyone anything. This is all for entertainment and sadly their are kids involved that deserve normal lives without a camera crew in their face at this point.

              • theStevieJBus

                I’m with you 100%, Maci will be back to dragging Ryan’s name through the mud next season and TBH Ryan isn’t that bad of a dad, he’s never taken her to court, I assume he pays child support (cuz we know she’d throw a fit if he didn’t), and he’s involved in Bentley’s lives. I also wonder how Jen and Larry feel about Maci putting Ryan’s business out in the streets, I hope they cut her off, they have been too good to that girl, even siding with her over Ryan.

                • barbinop

                  They even babysat for Maci and it wasn’t even their own grandchild. Then she throws them under the bus!!!

            • LoLo

              I don’t think she let him be with Ryan alone. His parents or Mackenzie was always there. We rarely see Ryan alone with Bentley or Bentley at his house. He’s always at Jen & Larry’s.

          • victorg

            all there are are scenes of her TALKING about it, but, DOING nothing!

            • Baby Hooker

              Maci is the last one to say someone is full of ship. She knew when Dalis knew that Ryan was doing drugs but only now she wants it publicized to shame him into rehab and to make herself look like his hero. Is she hoping he will call her up and say “Thank You Maci for saving me. I love you so much.”

      • barbinop

        She still in love with him. She spends too much time talking about Ryan instead of her own husband. She easily controlled Ryan. And how about her alcohol use whenever she’s with all her kids. You know that old saying about people who live in glass houses…….

      • LoLo

        I see that but then again they are told or provoked as to what to bring up on camera. They have to have something to talk about & Taylor is to “normal” so what would there be. I doubt Ryan is all they talk about when the cameras are not rolling. Just like I’m sure Gary doesn’t talk to Cristina all day about Amber.

        When Mackenzie first was on the show, I thought she was a smart girl. I didn’t realize she was 20. She looks older. She has a child & I hope the child’s father saw this & puts down his foot about his child being around this. I was shocked that she did not ask him to stop the car & get out. She was worried about the cameras not him killing them or someone else. She has a son to live for. The ironic thing was this was all in an attempt to get him more time with Bentley. Not really about their marriage. Does she just want to be married or be on tv more? If it was about marriage she would have told him she will marry him when he’s proven to be clean for a year after rehab.

      • Lauren

        She definitely has never gotten over him. She always interferes in his relationships way more than is needed as a co-parent. And who can forget the episode where she invited herself on his vacation with Bentley.

    • Lauren

      I’ve always questioned Maci’s motives. But even more so with his addiction issues coming to light. Instead of going to his family she’s on camera talking about it with Catelynn & Amber with Amber saying she knew how f*cked up Ryan is. How would she know what is going in Ryan’s life? She lives in Indiana & Ryan is in Tennessee. Worry about your own Amber. It just seems that Maci is milking it for a storyline & she wants to be seen as the hero that saved him or whatever. These girls are all sketchy AF with their motives.

  • LA79

    I definitely think they knew perhaps not the extent but that he was high and driving. That said, they’re not his baby sitters. I’m not sure why people think it’s their responsibility to keep grown adults from making bad decisions. It’s not.

  • TA

    Uh huh. Just like they couldn’t intervene when Amber was beating the sh*t out of Gary, several times in front of Leah. Reality TV is playing a tricky game of “do now, ask for forgiveness later”. Nothing will change until someone dies. ?

  • Pipeve

    Not only did that idiot Mackenzie allow the fool to drive when he clearly wasn’t able, neither one was wearing their seat belt either! They both would’ve been dead if something would’ve happened. Just made me physically ill watching that scene. He was pathetic. She was stupid.

  • LoLo

    I cannot believe this girl went ahead & married him. When they were discussing getting married that day he wanted to get a haircut but said he needed more time. She said he didn’t have it but then she went shopping for a dress. I’m guessing he needed the time to go get & do whatever he needed to do.

    Then while driving she was more worried about the cameras over being in an accident or killing someone. I would have made him pull the car over & refused to let him drive. I thought when she was first on the show she was a bright girl. Nope…the father of her child should not let their kid be around them until he’s clean. Maci was 100% right in her feelings about Bentley being over there. I could not imagine if he drove like that with him in the car.

    Mackenzie should of said “I will marry you once you complete rehab & stay clean for 1 year”

  • Kaitlyn Salv

    I agree it’s clear Mackenzie is very suspicious. She knew exactly what she was doing when she turned off the camera and left on her mic as she asked him about xanax. Ryan was not on xanax, he was on opiates. Apparently she successfully fooled some people.Her intent was to make people think she forgot about the mic, and that Ryans drug issue is xanax (which really isnt much better than heroin,it can still kill you, just not as fast) . Anyone who knows anything about drugs knows that what we witnessed in these scenes was not the effects of Xanax, but opiates.