Why Shawn Johnson Rejected Narcotic Pain Meds After Giving Birth to Baby No. 3 by C-Section

Why Shawn Johnson Rejected Narcotic Pain Meds After Giving Birth to Baby No. 3 by C-Section

Shawn Johnson is relying on over-the-counter medications to provide her pain relief after welcoming her third child.

On Dec. 22, ten days after giving birth by C-section to her and husband Andrew East's son Barrett "Beau" Madison East, the retired Olympic gymnast said she refused narcotic pain drugs to aid her recovery.

"They made me SO sick," she wrote on her Instagram Stories, "and frankly after being addicted to adderall it just scares me so I don't even mess with it."

Adderall, a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine, is a medication typically prescribed to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or the sleep disorder narcolepsy. The drug can be habit-forming, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

"During my comeback in 2010 I was prescribed adderall to 'curb my appetite and give me more energy' by a not good doctor," Shawn wrote on her Instagram Stories. "Fast forward 7 years of being heavily addicted to it and having it control me, when I finally freed myself of it I swore anything even remotely addictive I'd stay away from."

Shawn said in her post that her addiction to the medication affected every part of her life and changed who she was. "I never want to feel out of control like that again," the 31-year-old added. "So.... Tylenol and Motrin for me."

The athlete, who won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, has spoken about her past Adderall addiction before. It began in 2011, a year after she tore her left ACL while skiing and underwent knee surgery.

"I was on the track to make the 2012 Olympic team," she said in a 2020 YouTube video, "and I started just kind of burning out of my sport. The United States Gymnastics doctor...kind of saw that I was burning out and so he prescribed me Adderall and he said, 'This will help you lose more weight. This will help you have more energy and you'll be more successful in gymnastics."

The athlete said she began "overdosing on Adderall." She added, "I was overdosing on any medication that wouldn't be caught by USADA."

Shawn ended up retiring from professional gymnastics in 2012, stating at the time that her left knee was "not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer."

Now a mother of three to newborn Bear, Drew Hazel East, 4, and Jett James East, 2 the athlete is concentrating on her life at home with her family. When asked by a fan on Instagram how the transition from two to three kids has been so far, Shawn said it's so far been the easiest.

She also praised her husband for his help and support, calling him the "world's greatest dad to handle the two older ones."