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Drugs & Health Blog

Lindsay Lohan on Why Recovery Can Be So Hard

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

“I’m an addict,” Lindsay Lohan told Oprah in a recent interview.

The actress is speaking publicly about her commitment to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse—after 6 visits to rehab, a stint in jail, 2 drunk driving arrests, and 7 car accidents. This time, LiLo insists, she’s going to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Beating addiction isn’t easy. Addiction is a disease that causes people to continually seek and use drugs—even when they know the results are dangerous and drug use can change the brain. In fact, the definition of addiction is that people continue to use drugs despite negative consequences.

Many factors may have led Lindsay to use drugs and get addicted. Her family life wasn’t easy: Her parents divorced, and her father has said he’s an alcoholic and spent time in jail for various crimes. Though it’s not a guarantee, children of parents who are addicted to drugs are more likely to become addicted themselves.

Lindsay has openly admitted that her home life was quite chaotic. She thinks drinking alcohol helped to recreate the chaos of her family as she got older. Oprah asked, “Do you think you are—or were—addicted to chaos?”

“I think so. It was a comfortable chaos for me,” Lindsay replied.

People can’t actually be “addicted” to chaos the way they are addicted to drugs—Oprah’s phrase was a figure of speech. But researchers have found that a chaotic home environment “primes the brain” for addiction. Lots of studies show that a challenging family life mixed with drugs and alcohol makes quitting drugs difficult, and not just for celebrities.

As a young movie star, Lindsay moved to Hollywood on her own. Without a stable family, she felt all the ups and downs that every teen goes through. And, she felt the pressure of living under the spotlight of celebrity.

The good news is, drug abuse treatment can be effective when the person is ready to make a change and has the support of friends and family.

Today, Lindsay says she is on the road to recovery. She acknowledged she didn’t like what drinking did to her. “I’m in a different headspace now,” the actress said.

The actress is not alone. It is common for people to fall back into drug use. Relapse rates for addiction are a lot like relapse rates for other diseases, like asthma or high blood pressure. Relapse doesn’t mean treatment failed. Learning to live without drugs or alcohol takes time and practice.

Do you think Lindsay’s on the right track this time? What advice would you give a friend who is struggling with addiction? Tell us in comments.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


each people has private life and even who they are, they also have feeling and easy to make the mistake in the life, so we should see al problem in all side to give the true comment. i think she should find the solution for her life now if not she may be sink in the dark hole in the life. she can take the advices from friends or others who she think is ok. i hope she can pass over the difficult to reac the sunshine life.
Your reply is wonderfully refreshing and your attitude of not placing judgement on her is commendable. We should all be more concerned with helping and educating than with judging others.
thanks , great post i love it very much .... Waiting for the next post
I don't like the way she turned out I like the way she was in parent trap
thank you for sharing fine blog.unfortunately famous artists have bad habits.they should stop using them.
Lindsay Lohan is a great actress. She should focus more on acting than drugs.
This is crazy~!
Lindsay You Can Stay Sober! I Am!
I think that it is uncommon to not make a mistake. I mean everyone does so why worry about the bad when we all can focus on the good that everyone does. the point is that once someone starts doing better that us someone puts out something bad to knock us back down to where they are or below them .So my point is when some stabs u in the back lies on you mistreats u all you can do is be nice the bible says that it would be like heaping hot coals on their head
I love Lindsay Lohan