Amanda Bynes Opens Up About Drug-Fueled Downfall In New Interview

"It was like an alien had literally invaded my body," the actress said in Paper Magazine’s “Break the Internet” issue.

After shying away from the public eye for a few years, Amanda Bynes opened up about her past ― and her present ― in the annual “Break the Internet” issue of Paper Magazine.

The former child star spoke about her struggles with drug use and added that she didn’t start partying until she was 25 ― and never really drank alcohol.

“I started smoking marijuana when I was 16,” she 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’ drug use quickly accelerated to more dangerous drugs, like molly and ecstasy, though she admits she only used cocaine three times and didn’t like it. But the one drug she liked ― and later “abused,” in her words ― was Adderall.

″[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,’” Bynes confessed.

The more Adderall the actress took, the less she could focus on her lines for the movie “Hall Pass.” Bynes later dropped out of the movie, but kept up her Adderall use, which she said led to horrible feelings about her looks and abilities in the movie “Easy A.”

“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, before later announcing she was retiring from acting in a tweet at the time.

“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,” Bynes said.

The actress, who has been sober for four years now, looks back at her drug use and her activity on Twitter with regret.

“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,” the 32-year-old said.

“Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter,” she said. “It’s definitely not Twitter’s fault — it’s my own fault.”

Bynes previously made headlines over the years after she got two arrests for DUI, two hit-and-run charges and a suspended driver’s license within three years. Though many questioned the actress’ mental health, she maintains she is “normal” when she is not on substances.

“Those days of experimenting [with substances] are long over. I’m not sad about it and I don’t miss it because I really feel ashamed of how those substances made me act,” Bynes told Paper.

“When I was off of them, I was completely back to normal and immediately realized what I had done — it was like an alien had literally invaded my body. That is such a strange feeling.”

Amanda Bynes arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on June 5, 2011.
Amanda Bynes arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on June 5, 2011.

Last year, Bynes gave an interview for the first time in four years and spoke about her drug use, her subsequent sobriety and her desire to return to acting.

I do miss acting,” she said in an interview with Hollyscoop’s Diana Madison in 2017. “I actually have something surprising to tell you: I’m going to start acting again.”

Bynes added, “I want to do TV. Maybe a few guest spots on some shows that I’m a fan of, and maybe another TV show where I’m the star of it.”

Read more of Bynes’ interview over at Paper Magazine and buy a copy of the magazine here.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

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