If you watch Teen Mom 2 online, then you're likely aware of Leah Messer's past struggles with substance abuse.
Leah checked into rehab in 2015, and while the decision to seek treatment came on the heels of a very public struggle with prescription pill addiction, Messer insists the two developments are unrelated.
In fact, despite footage that seems to indicate otherwise, Leah says she was never addicted to drugs.
Fans of the show beg to differ, and many have taken to social media to plead with Leah to be more straightforward about her past.
Here's a rundown of the situation:
Leah Messer: Victim of a Public Health Crisis?
Leah lives in the heart of coal country, an area that's been ravaged by opioid addiction in recent years. Many fans believe she fell victim to this modern plague, but is unwilling to publicly admit to her struggles.
Hitting Rock Bottom?
In one harrowing scene that was captured by Teen Mom 2 cameras, Leah passed out while sitting up and holding a friend's baby. Many believe this was the rock bottom that convinced her to get help.
Not long after that incident, Leah checked into an in-patient treatment facility. Strangely, however, she still refused to admit that she'd been struggling with substance abuse.
Drugs, Depression, or Both?
Leah says she was battling a number of emotional issues, such as anxiety and depression. She does not, however, admit to using prescription drugs to self-medicate.
A Difficult Time
All of this occurred during an incredibly tumultuous time in Leah's life. When she checked into rehab, Messer was in the midst of a divorce from her second husband, Jeremy Calvert, and a custody battle with her first husband, Corey Simms.
Perpetuating the Stigma
Some fans feel that by refusing to admit she briefly struggled with substance abuse, Leah is perpetuating a harmful stigma and passing up the opportunity to spark a meaningful conversation about a deadly epidemic.
The Numbers Don't Lie
Drug overdose deaths are up an astonishing 500 percent since 1990. Overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with some estimates indicating that more than 60,000 Americans lost their life to an overdose in 2016.
The Teen Mom Family Is Not Immune
Though opioid abuse disproportionately affects Americans of lower socioeconomic status, the well-off young folks of the Teen Mom franchise are hardly immune. Teen Mom: OG star Ryan Edwards checked into rehab earlier this year after passing out while driving to his own wedding.
Leah: Denying the Obvious?
In the face of overwhelming evidence, Leah continues to maintain that she is and always has been drug-free. It's a stance that's rubbing many fans the wrong way.
Hated and Debated
“I hate how now Leah Messer acts like her s--t don’t stink, b---h was a hardcore drug addict just last season," one viewer recently tweeted. Another directed her outrage at MTV, arguing that the network “allows her [to] be so fake.”
Leah Claps Back
“Lol. You guys don’t know anything. I can’t help but ROFL," Leah tweeted at the disgruntled fans.
A Complex Question
But does Leah deserve the benefit of the doubt? In a recent interview, Ms. Messer had this to say about her time in treatment:
The Anxiety and Depression Track
“I was on the depression and anxiety track. [I’m focused on] doing it the right way and being able to have that platform to teach girls to do it the right way, and that’s what matters to me," she told Steve Harvey.
Not Just For Addicts...
“Treatment isn’t only for addiction. Treatment facilities aren’t just for addicts," she added.
Leah on the Mend
The important thing is that these days, Leah is doing better and being the mom her three children deserve. In many ways, it doesn't particularly matter if she's being honest with the public, so long as she's being honest with her healthcare professionals.