Sigh. Life hasn’t been easy for young mother and star of MTV’s Teen Mom 2, Jenelle Evans. She was introduced to the world as a young teen mother-to-be on the controversial show 16 & Pregnant, where viewers watched her already troubled relationship with her son’s father, Andrew Lewis, go up in flames and tears. We also met Jenelle’s well-meaning, but overbearing mother, Barbara, during this time. Barbara and Jenelle’s relationship would also suffer some serious setbacks when Barbara took custody of her grandson, Jace, leading to years of yet unresolved court custody battles. Now, nearly a decade later, Jenelle is still featured as one of the most troubled members of the Teen Mom 2 cast, sharing her life and daily struggles as a mother of 3, coping with anxiety, baby daddies, and Barbara.
Many fans of the show also know that Jenelle is in recovery from substance abuse. Many of the problems she faced on camera dealt with her active addiction, including multiple arrests and a trip to rehab. While many unfortunately still hold her past against her, Jenelle has adamantly claimed her days of drug abuse are behind her as she moved forward with her children and fiance, David Eason. In fact, it seems Evans is finally ready to share her recovery story- including two terrifyingly close brushes with death!
In her new memoir, Read Between the Lines: Diary of a Teenage Mom, Jenelle Evans recounts two overdose experiences, recognizing the real danger she was in with a new, clearer perspective.
Her first overdose experience occurred due to misinformation and naivety regarding the safety of over the counter medication. Hearing that large quantities of decongestants can cause a “weird trip you’ll never forget”, Jenelle purchased a box and proceeded to take 6. When she didn’t experience the effects she’d been promised, she continued to take more of the over-the-counter medication until all 24 pills were gone.
At that point she realized that, while she definitely wasn’t experiencing the hallucinations and connection with the universe she was anticipating, the pills had definitely taken some effect. Her heart was racing and severely nauseous. Luckily she made the wise decision to turn to her mother for help- a decision which likely saved her life. While seeking medical attention would have been more advisable, Jenelle recovered from her first overdose under the close supervision of her mother.
Unfortunately because addiction still had a hold on her life, Jenelle would experience another overdose before she surrendered to a life of sobriety: this one caused by heroin. During her tumultuous relationship with ex Kieffer Delp, Jenelle Evans admits her substance abuse was at its peak: “I did a lot of heroin and weed. That was all I did. Just smoked and shot up and laid around chillin.”
During this time in her life, Evans was deeply depressed regarding her child custody issues and strained relationship with her mother. She ran into multiple legal problems including an arrest for breaking and entering and drug possession. Even that wasn’t the lowest point in their relationship; that came when Jenelle passed out from a heroin overdose and awoke an unknown amount of time later, disoriented and understandably freaked out. She questioned Kieffer only to learn that he’d known she was unconscious on the bathroom floor and shrugged it off with “sometimes that just happens.”
His lack of caring about her health or safety in the moment was an eye opener for Jenelle. Afraid for her life, she checked herself into a New Jersey detox center and began her recovery journey.