Amanda Bynes Details Drug Abuse in New Interview

Amanda Bynes has finally owned up to her past drug use after years of speculation.

PAPER published a detailed profile of the 32-year-old actress, who started her career on Nickelodeon's All That, on Monday, and she did not hold back on her highly publicized breakdown in the late 2000s.

While she says she never cared for alcohol or partying as a teenager, she did first try marijuana at age 16 and kept using it from there on out.

"Even though everyone thought I was the 'good girl,' I did smoke marijuana from that point on," Bynes said. "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."

Bynes, who is also known for her roles in Easy A and She's the Man, then graduated to harder drugs in the following years, including cocaine and ecstasy.

"Later on it progressed to doing molly and ecstasy," she said. "[I tried] cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice."

Then came the drug she was really began to damage her career: Adderall. As she grappled from body image issues, she began taking the drug during the filming of Hairspray when she learned it might help her stay thin. She faked ADD symptoms to a psychiatrist and soon got hooked on the drug.

"I definitely abused Adderall," she said. "(I was) reading an article 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.'"

Her Adderall addiction escalated to the point that it inhibited her ability to perform on camera. She had a role in the 2011 comedy Hall Pass but left the project after botching her scenes after taking too much of the drug.

"When I was doing Hall Pass, I remember being in the trailer and I used to chew the Adderall tablets because I thought they made me [more] high [that way]," she said. "I remember chewing on a bunch of them and literally being scatterbrained and not being able to focus on my lines or memorize them for that matter."

She added, "[I] remember seeing my image on the screen and literally tripping out and thinking my arm looked so fat because it was in the foreground or whatever and I remember rushing off set and thinking, 'Oh my god, I look so bad.'"

Not long after the Hall Pass incident, Bynes went to a screening of Easy A and had a similar freakout about her appearance, which she thinks was triggered by marijuana. She then promptly (and notoriously) retired from acting using her Twitter account.

"I was high on marijuana when I saw [Easy A] but for some reason it really started to affect me," Bynes said. "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,

She continued, "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."

After her self-imposed retirement, the former Amanda Show and What I Like About You actress said she "had no purpose in life." That resulted in her spiraling into drug use and "hanging out with a seedier crowd.

"I had a lot of time on my hands and I would 'wake and bake' and literally be stoned all day long," she said. "I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me ... [I] was just stuck at home, getting high, watching TV and tweeting."

Bynes revealed that she remains sober, as she has for the past four years. She was helped out of her rut by her parents and her studies at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising have kept her busy. Looking back on her experience, she included some words of advice to those grappling with drug abuse.

"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," Bynes said. "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."


She added, "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 Credit: WireImage / Jeff Vespa