'Teen Mom' Amber Portwood Has Too Much to Lose to Fail at Rehab

Amber PortwoodAmber Portwood got one heck of a gift this week from the Indiana court system. The star of MTV's reality series Teen Mom will not be headed to prison ... not yet anyway. But now daughter Leah's life is hanging in the balance right along with the teen mom's.

Portwood pleaded guilty today to a probation violation that landed her in jail back in December plus a felony count of possession of a controlled substance. In exchange, prosecutors decided to go easy on her. They won't be sending her to prison for five years. They are, however, sending her back to jail for now ...


More from The Stir: 'Teen Mom' Amber Portwood Has Bigger Emotional Problems Than We Thought

Portwood has to sit in jail until a drug court program in Indiana decides whether they'll take her on and help her clean up. And then, she's gotta stick with the rehab program, get clean, and get a job. She also has to make good on the promise to put $10,000 in a trust fund for Leah, which her attorney says will be done as soon as she gets out of jail, plus finish up her high school diploma or get her GED.

If she can't do it, it's do not pass go, do not collect your MTV paycheck, just go directly to prison. And make no mistake about it, that would be bad news for little Leah! Yes, Portwood's ex, Gary Shirley, has custody of his daughter, and it's probably for the best. An unstable mom is not the best influence on a child. But a mom in prison is even worse. 

Studies have linked a prison sentence for mom with the likelihood that a kid will end up going to prison too. If her mom can't manage rehab, Leah will be at an increased risk for the likes of depression, lower grades, separation anxiety, impaired emotional development, acute traumatic stress reactions, survivor guilt, and delinquent juvenile behaviors such as drug use and violence. Oh, and get this: the female children of prisoners are more likely to go through a teen pregnancy. Considering she's the daughter of a teen mom, and therefore already at risk, this could be huge for Leah.

More from The Stir: Amber Portwood Needs to Hit Rock Bottom to Get Her Life Back

Here's hoping Amber realizes the gift of a second chance is one she needs to use wisely. She has been to rehab before, and her guilty plea proves it didn't clean her up. But her daughter is depending on her right now more than ever not to screw things up.

What do you think will happen with Amber in the coming months?

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