For the first time in the past four years, actress Amanda Bynes has opened herself up to the public, addressing her past substance abuse issues and how they played roles in her public breakdowns and Twitter rants. In a comprehensive interview with Paper magazine, the actress and former child star shares how her experimentation with drugs are ultimately what led to her fall from grace, claiming that “the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up [her] brain.” Bynes accepted a plea deal back in 2014 after being brought to trial on a drunk driving charge and was sentenced to three years of probation and a required alcohol education course. She also posted a series of troubling tweets on Twitter, all of which ranged in tenor from slightly odd, to unnecessarily vulgar, to outright false and bizarre accusations. Since then, Bynes has secluded herself from the public eye, focusing on recovery and on her studies. Now, she is four years sober and a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she’s receiving her Associates of Arts degree in Merchandise Product Development.
Bynes’s journey with drugs began at sixteen, when she regularly began smoking marijuana. She claims that although she “never did heroin or meth or anything like that,” she experimented with cocaine on multiple occasions, and progressed to doing hard recreational drugs like molly and ecstasy as well. By the time she was filming Hairspray in 2007, she had begun abusing Adderall, taking multiple pills daily because she thought they would help maintain her thin figure. After she finished filming Easy A, Bynes says that she struggled with a possible drug-induced psychosis, and hastily announced her retirement from acting on Twitter one day while high. The lack of distraction and consistent substance abuse led Bynes down a self-destructive path, causing her to use Twitter as an outlet because she “was just stuck at home, getting high, watching TV and tweeting.” Being constantly high not only led to the unraveling of Bynes’s acting career, but also “changed [her] perception of things,” and completely changed her behavior.
“I’m really ashamed and embarrassed,” Bynes says concerning her behavior while abusing drugs and alcohol. Bynes credits her parents for being her biggest support systems during her recovery, but any individual either going through recovery or who knows someone who has can understand the amount of credit that must be given to Bynes for her commitment to sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, don’t hesitate to contact Recovery Unplugged now to take the first steps toward sobriety. In Amanda Bynes’s own words, “I’ve been through the worst and came out the other end and survived it, so I just feel like it’s only up from here.”