Earlier this year, Leah Messer published a memoir that contained a number of shocking revelations about her childhood and early adolescence.
Fans who thought they knew everything about Leah from her decade on Teen Mom 2 were shocked to learn they only had half the story.
And many who judged her harshly for her past behavior found themselves experiencing profound compassion for a woman who had been through hell before she even reached high school.
In recent interviews, Leah has offered further details about her painful past, and it seems that not a day goes by without some new information about her traumatic childhood being revealed.
These days, Leah has beaten her addiction to opioids and is proudly sober.
Substance abuse took her to some dark places over the years, and during one incident that was caught on camera, Leah passed out while holding a baby.
Thankfully, the child was unharmed.
Even after that moment, which was witnessed by Teen Mom 2 viewers, Leah continued to deny that she suffered from any sort of addiction.
Perhaps emboldened by the positive response to her memoir, Leah is much more open about her battle with substance abuse these days.
In a recent interview with the Knockin' Down Doorz podcast, Leah revealed that she once tried heroin alongside her father, who is sadly still addicted to prescription pain medications.
“I actually tried heroin once. ..my personal experience is I didn’t feel anything from it,” she said.
“I think it was divine intervention. It was when you can’t find pain medication, there was the heroin. [It’s] cheaper, and an easier form," Leah added.
"I was actually with my dad when I had done it," Messer said, adding that she made an error in judgement common to first-time drug users:
“I thought I could avoid [becoming addicted],” she said.
“I didn’t feel dependent on the medication I was taking at the time, until it was too late and I became suicidal.”
Leah's addiction was the result of her painful and traumatic delivery of her youngest daughter.
“I remember it leading into smoking the pills, it led me to try heroin," she told the podcast hosts.
“I was in the public eye and I had to keep up with this persona, or this image and [in treatment] I had to let all of that go,” she said.
Leah says she felt the need to lie about her addiction due to a bitter custody battle with ex-husband Corey Simms.
She credits the producers of TM2 for helping her quietly enter a rehab facility and get clean.
[‘Teen Mom’ producer] Larry [Musnik] specifically was the biggest support system I had,” she said.
“I was in a really, really tough custody battle [with Corey Simms] and being able to own that I was struggling with addiction was impossible. I was being hair follicle drug-tested. I was going to lose custody of my children," Leah continued.
"That was even more shameful for me. That’s my entire world. If I lose them, I felt like I didn’t have anything to live for," she added.
“And the Executive Producer was like, ‘Leah. The best thing for them is for you to go to the treatment facility and get the help that you need and deserve. That was the support system I had.”
Obviously, Teen Mom stardom has not had a positive effect on the life of every cast member, but it sounds like the show may have literally saved Leah's life.
We applaud her for being so candid about her experiences.