Amanda Bynes Opens Up About Her Drug Use, Depression & More
By Peyton Blakemore
November 27, 2018
Amanda Bynes has finally opened up about her drug-fueled past and journey to sobriety.
No topic was off-limits for her candid interview with Paper magazine, published on Monday (November 26). The 32-year-old actress discussed everything from infamous celebrity-targeted tweets to her abrupt retirement at age 24 to her issues with substance abuse. Read on to find out more!
Amanda claims her 2006 role in She's the Man drove her to depression.
"When the movie came out and I saw it I went into a deep depression for 4-6 months because I didn't like how I looked when I was a boy... I've never told anyone that... [It was] a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk."
She started using drugs at 16 and progressed to harder drugs throughout her youth. However, her drug of choice became Adderall.
"I started smoking marijuana when I was 16. Even though everyone thought I was the 'good girl,' I did smoke marijuana from that point on...I didn't get addicted [then] and I wasn't abusing it. And I wasn't going out and partying or making a fool of myself... yet."
"Later on it progressed to doing molly and ecstasy. [I tried] cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice...I definitely abused Adderall."
[I remember] reading an article [around the time I filmed Hairspray in 2007] in a magazine that [called Adderall] 'the new skinny pill' and they were talking about how women were taking it to stay thin. I was like, 'Well, I have to get my hands on that.' [So, I went] to a psychiatrist and [faked] the symptoms of ADD."
Her retirement from acting (at age 24) had to with her body image issues, and spiraling from drug use.
"I literally couldn't stand my appearance in [Easy A] and I didn't like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it. I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me. I don't know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things."
"I saw it and I was convinced that I should never be on camera again and I officially retired on Twitter, which was, you know, also stupid. If I was going to retire [the right way], I should've done it in a press statement — but I did it on Twitter. Real classy! But, you know, I was high and I was like, 'You know what? I am so over this' so I just did it. But it was really foolish and I see that now. I was young and stupid."
Despite "armchair psychiatrists" and tabloids diagnosing her with mental health problems, Amanda said she's never suffered from mental health issues.
"It definitely isn't fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are. That was always really bothersome to me. If you deny anything and tell them what it actually is, they don't believe you. Truly, for me, [my behavior] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal."
She's still embarrassed by the wild tweets she sent out when she was struggling with substance abuse. (Who could forget those nasty tweets she wrote about her fellow celebrities?)
"I'm really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said. I can't turn back time but if I could, I would. And I'm so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me. It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad. Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter. It's definitely not Twitter's fault — it's my own fault."
She's sober now.
"I've been sober for almost four years now. [My parents] really [helped] me get back on track."
"My advice to anyone who is struggling with substance abuse would be to be really careful because drugs can really take a hold of your life. Everybody is different, obviously, but for me, the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up my brain. It really made me a completely different person. I actually am a nice person. I would never feel, say or do any of the things that I did and said to the people I hurt on Twitter."
"There are gateway drugs and thankfully I never did heroin or meth or anything like that but certain things that you think are harmless, they may actually affect you in a more harmful way. Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did."
Photo: Getty Images