Actress Amanda Bynes, Now 32, Breaks Silence on Drug Abuse

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 27, 2018Entertainment

Actress Amanda Bynes addressed her history of drug abuse and other issues in a new interview.

Bynes, a former Nickelodeon child star who headlined several successful movies, including “What a Girl Wants,” appeared on the current cover of Paper Magazine after spending years out of the spotlight.

Bynes has been studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles since 2014 and was set to receive her associate’s of arts degree in merchandise product development in November.

In January, she planned to embark on a bachelor’s degree.

Bynes noted that she started acting in youth plays when she was young and hired an agent when she was 7. She soon broke out on Nickelodeon and became a child star.

Bynes said she didn’t drink much as a teenager and only started going out when she was 25. But she started smoking marijuana, which soon led to other drugs.

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

She was popping Adderall regularly. “I definitely abused Adderall,” she said, noting that she read that it was “the new skinny pill.” She faked symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder to obtain a prescription for the pill.

She said in 2010, when she was performing in “Hall Pass,” that she began to sense drugs were impacting her negatively.

“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 soon pulled out of the film. Her career effectively ended when she attended a screening of her last film, “Easy A,” she said.

“I literally couldn’t stand my appearance in that movie and I didn’t like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it,” she said. “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.”

After abruptly retiring, Bynes admitted getting even more into drugs. “It became a really dark, sad world for me,” she said.

Bynes said that she’s been sober for almost four years, though, crediting her parents for helping her.

“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,” she said. “Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did.”

While she wants to design a full fashion line one day, she’d like to get back to her roots soon. “I want to get back into acting first,” she said.

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