Amanda Bynes dominated television and movies for more than a decade. Landing her very own show at just 13, she was a comedic force, and her talent was widely recognized among critics, her peers and her large fanbase. But, many successes later, Bynes started making headlines for different reasons. Her behavior had turned sporadic, and we were living in the golden-age of paparazzi and tabloid fodder. There was little compassion, and a lot of speculation and crisis.
A casual marijuana smoker for much of her life, Bynes also began abusing Adderall at 25. She read it would help her stay thin and faked ADD symptoms to obtain a prescription from a psychiatrist. The combination of the substances and increasing pressure being placed on her appearance and performance caused what she called a “drug-induced psychosis,” in a recent interview with Paper Magazine.
She was scatterbrained and sad, famously quitting acting on Twitter because she believed she was not good enough. Leaving her life-long career behind left her unmoored, with nothing to do but stay at home, smoke marijuana and tweet. She sent a number of concerning, often hurtful, messages out into the world at this time.
This caused rampant speculation. The media diagnosed her with myriad mental health conditions she did not have. Once she stopped using drugs and drinking, Bynes returned to normal. She was happy, healthy and calm.
Of the seemingly innocuous drugs she abused, Bynes said: “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.”
Bynes has now been sober for four years, is completing a Merchandise Product Development degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and preparing to return to acting. We look forward to seeing her back on our screens and thank her for sharing her story to help shine a light on the potential effects of non-opioid prescription drugs and marijuana.
We leave you with her own words of wisdom: “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.”
If you or someone you love needs help, reach out to the New England Recovery Center today at (844) 233-6372.