Amanda Bynes has spent the past couple years largely out of the spotlight and off Twitter following her 2013 public breakdown. The child actress started studying at Los Angeles’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2014, and has been sober for four years. With that past behind her, she’s ready to talk about just what happened in explicit, very open detail to Paper magazine.
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In her first big profile in years, Bynes gave a timeline of her substance use and how it led to her hitting rock bottom, then getting help. “I started smoking marijuana when I was 16,” she said. “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,” she continued. “[I tried] cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice.” Adderall, however, became something she took too much. “I definitely abused Adderall,” she told the outlet.
She says it was being high on marijuana and seeing her Easy A performance that led her to tweet that she was retiring from acting in 2010, one of several events that year that marked her public down spiral. “I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me,” Bynes admitted. “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.”
Bynes was honest about how those substances changed her and her advice to others struggling. “For me, the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up my brain,” she said. “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.”
Bynes also opened up about her plans to start acting again now, the darkest moments in her career, and her recovery. Read the full profile here.