Mama June Shannon has not rebuilt her former modest fortune, but she once again has a car, a home of her own, and her sobriety.
In a tell all interview, she is revealing in detail how she first came to use drugs and how that spiraled out of control, and all of the things that she sold before getting sober.
Mama June Shannon was a guest on Sober Nation FM, giving a no-holds-barred account of her addiction, her sobriety, and the role that Geno played in both.
“For a long time I was able to function and do production,” June notes, describing a situation common for many addicts.
“When we got busted [for drug possession] in 2019," she acknowledges, "the world was shocked."
"My producers knew what was going on," June reveals, "but they kind of brushed it underneath the rug."
"Until it came to light in the media," she continues, "that’s when they were like, ‘Oh no.’ I was the plague."
"But toward the end of that [season]…I don’t remember that," June admits. "I was in and out of it.”
"I was always around drugs growing up,” June describes. “My sister and brother-in-law sold drugs."
She adds: “I wasn’t a partier. I had my first kid when I was 14."
"I was on my own when I was 14, working three jobs," June recalls. "So I guess I never did think about that lifestyle.”
Feeling overwhelmed in 2000, June shares, she turned to meth in the hopes of keeping pace with her busy life.
“The very first drug I ever done was meth. Oh my God, I loved it,” she recalls.
“I was working three jobs and I was able to make more money," June begins what almost sounds like an advertising pitch for meth.
"I was able to do more and stay up longer," June raves.
This was good, she explains, "because, honestly, when I was working three jobs, I was working from 4 a.m. to midnight so I only needed a few hours’ sleep.”
“There were days of staying up 17 days, 14 days," June recalls. That is, for the record, super bad for you.
"I did that for a while," June describes, "but in 2004 I moved away and kind of got myself clean off of that."
"I went cold turkey of that, no rehab no nothing,” she reveals. “My life was great then."
"I was living in South Georgia," June explains, "and we got our show [Here Comes Honey Boo Boo].”
“I moved back to my hometown, which was Hampton [Georgia] in 2014,” June describes.
This, she reveals, is when “I got hooked up with the same people and guess what I started doing? I started doing meth again."
"It was s--tty this time, but…it was the only drug I had ever done at that point," June says.
“I met my boyfriend at the end of 2015,” June recalls of Geno Doak.
She says: “He was like, ‘Look baby, if you want to know me, you’ve got to quit all that.’"
June reveals that it worked: "I gave away 56 grams of meth the next morning and didn’t think twice about it."
"I went cold turkey again…but I would do X, or cocaine,” June admits.
“In late 2016…I started doing cocaine. It was like half a gram, a gram and it started going up," she describes.
June explained the appeal: "It didn’t make me think about things; I knew I could make more money; I knew I could be in demand of our production team…”
“My kids knew what was going on. Some of my kids are older. I have a 26-year-old," the grandmother notes.
"If I had done [a drug], even a pain medication, I would always tell my kids what was in our bodies," she explains, "in case, God forbid, something happened."
"My kids did know," June reiterates. "They didn’t know to what extent but they knew what was going on.”
“I don’t shoot up. I never have. I hate f--king needles," June emphasizes.
"But my kids started to find my boyfriend’s [drug needles] and my daughter was pregnant at that time, Pumpkin [who is a] 20-year-old now," she says.
"She was 17 and pregnant," June recalls, "and she told me, ‘Mama, you’ve got to chill this s--t out.’"
From that point forward, June and Geno merely "hid" their drug use ... until their very public arrest in early 2019.
“Me and Geno was fightin’ so cops was called to a convenience store and they locked us up," she recalls.
"We got drug charges," June notes. "They found a needle on him.”
Apparently, June's arrest was only the result of Geno spitefully narcing to the police.
“[Geno] screamed, ‘Hey she’s got drugs on her!’ I had a pipe…We had just cooked up cocaine…" June reveals. "And I just dumped it into my floorboard."
She reflects: "Luckily they didn't call the [drug-sniffing] dogs on us.”
June says that she immediately returned to using drugs upon her release, having stashed drugs in her vehicle.
“When I got my car back, my dope was still in my car," she notes.
"We stayed in Alabama for three months because I was considered a flight risk,” June explains.
“I still had ‘Honey Boo Boo’ money, even when we started ‘Mama June,'" June recalls. "I had been very frugal with my money."
"But, trust me, cocaine is not a poor man’s drug," she remarks. “I was spending $3000-$4000 a day.”
When she and Geno returned to Georgia after three months, they were broke ... so June began selling off all of her possessions, and other people's too.
“I spent my money on dope, casinos, whatever," June summarizes. "So, I went home, I sold my house and all the contents in it."
"At that point, I was up to 2-3 ounces of cocaine a day,” she details. “We was cookin’ it, and at that point I was smokin’ it."
"We ended up staying in a hotel, and waited until the money ran out again," June shares, admitting that she was no longer enjoying the drugs, just taking them to survive.
“By that point, we had to do it less and less because we had less money,” June recalls.
“I didn’t have any other choice…We would get clean for four-, five-, six days or a week," she shares. "It was kind of a stupid thing."
“I went into an outpatient [rehab] service and I went there for a week," June explains. "But after a week, I’d go and get high again.”
“I gave our truck to the dope dealer so he would give us dope,” June says about what happened later in 2019.
“We would get them a hotel room, they would stay in our hotel room with us," she says, explaining the stories of her and Geno living in and trashing hotels with "friends."
“Then we started living in our car," June continues, "because we didn’t have really any money."
“I used to have rings all over my fingers,” June says with regret. “I used to be drippin’ in diamonds. I used to be drippin’ in bracelets."
She shares: "I would pawn everything, and then go back and get them. I’d pawn shoes, wallets."
June insists: "I never stole from anybody. I never hustled anybody. I never panhandled. I always found a way to get my dope, from my own personal possessions."
“There was probably $100,000 worth of jewelry that I sold,” June shares. “For nothing.”
Obviously, she has a different definition of what it means to steal, and selling the deed to her daughter's car was not the only incidence of this.
“One time I pawned rings that my daughter’s deceased grandmother had," June confesses. "I pawned them for like $45. But I got them back.”
“I was actually pushed [into treatment] by our production team,” June says. “They were like, ‘If you don’t go, we’re going to call DFCS [Department of Family & Child Services]."
"They actually did call DFCS. I was there 11 or 12 hours. I was pushed. I wasn’t ready," she explains.
June adds: "I honestly believe that if you’re not ready, you’re going to leave.”
Ultimately, it was Geno's suggestion, after days of living in a parked truck, that they get clean.
“I was so against it because I thought he wanted me to go into inpatient treatment just to get rid of me,” June explains.
She recalls: “He was like, ‘No, no, if we don’t go in together, I don’t want to do it either.’"
"He wanted me to feel comfortable," June details. "A lot of people don’t know that I’m blind, I don’t like new places."
"I’m totally blind in one eye, and 5 percent [vision] only in the other eye," she says.
“We got a hold of our producers and told them we decided to go into treatment,” June shares. “We had to wait a couple of days. If it had been even one more day, I would have told [the treatment center] to f--k off."