Jael Strauss, former America’s Next Top Model star now a meth addict

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
12 September 2012

A contestant from the 2007 America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) season has appeared on as episode of US TV show Dr Phil, after family and friends enlisted the help of the show’s star to tackle her addiction to methamphetamine.

Jael Strauss, 28, who reached the final stages of the competition hosted by Tyra Banks, appeared looking dishevelled and ill as it was revealed six years of addiction to meth has left her homeless and desperate.

The trailer for the episode of Dr Phil, which airs in the US next week, shows Jael about to walk on stage before changing her mind and running away. Dr Phil describes Jael as a “full blown meth addict” and dramatically goes out to find her in the studio’s car park.

[Related article: Sex addiction - a class A drug?]

Methamphetamine, sometimes called ‘crystal meth’, is a recreational and highly addictive drug that releases dopamine in the brain, causing a burst of energy and euphoria. Among many other things, it causes cardiovascular damage and addicts often appear thin, twitchy and pale with bad skin and teeth.

Jael struggled with personal issues during the filming of ANTM and her addiction is thought to have begun around the same time. While filming, the then 22-year-old was told a friend died from a drug overdose, which left her understandably shaken.  Later the same year she took legal action after erotic photos taken of her at 16 were made public.

The model’s meth habit has ravaged her looks, reportedly given her sores all over her body and rotted her teeth, but it seems she’s reluctant to accept the help of Dr Phil. The episode airs on September 13.

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