Former Miss USA Speaks Openly About Her Road to Recovery
Many may remember Tara Conner as the drug addicted Miss USA who Donald Trump gave a second chance. In 2006, after testing positive for cocaine, most of America assumed Trump would strip Conner of her crown. However, it turns out, Trump is no stranger to addiction as he had a brother who passed away from alcoholism. Trump saw Conner as a person with a disease who needed treatment; he did not see her as morally flawed and unfit to wear the Miss USA crown.
The decision Trump made to respect Conner and offer her rehabilitation rather than shame her may have saved her life. It was from that drug treatment program that Conner can now say she is five years sober today and an advocate for those struggling with addiction. During the process of getting sober, Conner got to the bottom of how her problem started in the first place. It was due to pain and heartache and without the introduction of proper alternative coping skills learned in drug treatment, the public loss of her crown may have made the problem far worse instead of better.
Conner Discusses the Causes of Her Addiction Publicly
In a recent speech for the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Conner admitted she had her first taste of alcohol on a cheerleading trip at the age of 14. She goes on to explain that shockingly by the end of that same year she had already moved on to morphine. Some may think that is a rapid progression of addiction, but with the right combination of genetic, environmental and emotional factors a quick descent is possible for anyone.
She went on to explain that year her parents had divorced and she lost a grandfather that was very close to her. This flood of emotions was difficult to process because Conner said, “I had a lot of feelings I couldn’t identify.”
She used alcohol at first to numb the pain and moved on to Xanax, Percocet, and Valium to name a few. She got to a point where she was taking 30 painkillers a day. She admits to being high during her pageant days, including those that led to the Miss USA title.
Treatment Brought Insights to Help Heal the Addiction
Conner told the audience she found comfort once she was told her addiction was a disease because, “Then I knew I could get better.” She comes from a family of alcoholics and also learned during rehab, “alcoholics have more intense feelings … we’re wired differently.” Through treatment she found healthy ways to cope with her emotions and today aims for a balanced life.
If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction we can help. Call today to learn more about our evidence based addiction treatment programs here in Florida. Don’t hesitate. Make the call today.