Tara Conner: I abused drugs, alcohol and was a cutter'

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner

By Samantha Chang

Former Miss USA Tara Conner appears on the outside to have a picture-perfect life, but her beauty and fame masked a sad existence marred by self-abuse, drug addiction and alcoholism.
Eight months after winning the Miss USA title in 2006, Conner almost lost her crown when she tested positive for cocaine. Instead of firing her, pageant owner Donald Trump gave her a second chance and sent her to drug rehab.

PARENTS' DIVORCE WAS TRIGGER
Conner, 24, has been clean and sober ever since, but spoke out about her years of underage drinking, self-inflicted injuries (cutting) and rape at the age of 14.
Tara's rapid decline into drug addiction began at 14, when her parents divorced and her grandfather died.
"I feel like I was crying out for help, but no one could hear me because everyone was so concerned with their own life," Conner said on the Oprah show April 28.
Tara began doing drugs to mask the pain and loneliness she felt. "I started using when I was 14 years old," she recalls. "I had my first drink when I was 14."

'I SOMETIMES TOOK 30 PAINKILLERS A DAY'
She adds: "It wasn't me moving to New York and becoming Miss USA that put all this pressure on me. It wasn't that at all. I had the disease of alcoholism from the get-go."
Soon, Conner moved on to potent prescription painkillers like Vicodin. "I started taking Percocet, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, morphine pills, methadone [and] OxyContin," she recounts. "It consumed every minute of my day. There would be times where I could do 30 pain pills in a day."

Former Miss USA Tara Conner appears on the outside to have a picture-perfect life, but her beauty and fame masked a sad existence marred by self-abuse, drug addiction and alcoholism.
Eight months after winning the Miss USA title in 2006, Conner almost lost her crown when she tested positive for cocaine. Instead of firing her, pageant owner Donald Trump gave her a second chance and sent her to drug rehab.


PARENTS' DIVORCE WAS TRIGGER
Conner, 24, has been clean and sober ever since, but spoke out about her years of underage drinking, self-inflicted injuries (cutting) and rape at the age of 14.
Tara's rapid decline into drug addiction began at 14, when her parents divorced and her grandfather died.
"I feel like I was crying out for help, but no one could hear me because everyone was so concerned with their own life," Conner said on the Oprah show April 28.
Tara began doing drugs to mask the pain and loneliness she felt. "I started using when I was 14 years old," she recalls. "I had my first drink when I was 14."

'I SOMETIMES TOOK 30 PAINKILLERS A DAY'
She adds: "It wasn't me moving to New York and becoming Miss USA that put all this pressure on me. It wasn't that at all. I had the disease of alcoholism from the get-go."
Soon, Conner moved on to potent prescription painkillers like Vicodin. "I started taking Percocet, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, morphine pills, methadone [and] OxyContin," she recounts. "It consumed every minute of my day. There would be times where I could do 30 pain pills in a day."

Tara says lying and manipulating became a way of life. After a while, she told so many lies and did so many drugs that she says she didn't know who she was anymore.
Shockingly, Conner was doing drugs the entire time she competed in pageants — even while competing on Miss USA.
"I was doing pain pills the entire time," she reveals. When officials announced she was the winner, Tara was numb from the Xanax she had taken earlier that day.

'I WAS NEVER ENOUGH FOR ME'
"Everyone thought I was professional and this sweet girl who showed up for what I needed to show up for," she says. "Everyone thinks the pageant girls are Polly Purebred perfect. You can't make a mistake, but on the inside, I felt dirty. I felt ashamed. I felt less than, not enough. I was never enough for me."
When she was finally caught in her web of lies eight months into her Miss USA reign, Conner was relieved. "Part of me was like, 'Wow, all of my skeletons are out there,'" she says. "There's a freedom that comes with that."
Tara, who has been sober for over three years now, is happy with how her life is unfolding. "Every day I learn something new about myself," she says. "I'm allowing myself to feel. I'm allowing myself to love. I'm allowing myself to feel pain where I wouldn't before."

Source: www.examiner.com

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