Amanda Bynes has opened up on her struggles with addiction following a public meltdown which saw her retire from acting.
The former child star – who rose to fame in the 1990s before appearing in films such as What A Girl Wants, She’s The Man and Hairspray – was one of Hollywood’s hottest talents when drug use led to a downward spiral.
Bynes had several brushes with the law after stepping away from acting in 2010, including a drink-driving arrest in 2012 and a marijuana possession charge in 2013.
Now 32, Bynes has appeared on the cover of Paper magazine, discussing her troubled past and announcing she intends to return to acting.
She told how her first experience of drugs came after experimenting with marijuana, before she moved on to “molly and ecstasy”.
Bynes said she tried, “cocaine three times but I never got high from cocaine. I never liked it. It was never my drug of choice”.
She added: “I definitely abused Adderall.”
Her use of Adderall, usually used to treat ADHD, led her to dropping out of the film Hall Pass after being left “scatterbrained” from the drugs.
But Bynes said the breaking point came after watching herself appear in 2010’s Easy A alongside Emma Stone.
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.
“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 seeing herself in Easy A, Bynes decided to retire from acting, announcing the news via Twitter.
She started “hanging out with a seedier crowd and I isolated a lot”, adding “I got really into my drug usage and it became a really dark, sad world for me”.
Now Bynes is sober and says her drug using days are over.
She has a degree in Merchandise Product Development from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles – and she wants to make a return to acting.
She said: “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.
“When I was off of them, I was completely back to normal and immediately realised what I had done — it was like an alien had literally invaded my body.
“That is such a strange feeling. Truly, for me, (my behaviour) was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of (drugs), I was always back to normal.”