Can Lindsay's Problems Be Blamed On A Single Prescription Drug?

Illustration for article titled Can Lindsay's Problems Be Blamed On A Single Prescription Drug?

Doctors apparently claim Lindsay Lohan isn't really an addict — she was just driven crazy by Adderall. And the thing is, it could actually be true.

According to TMZ, doctors at UCLA, where Lohan is in rehab, say she's not experiencing the withdrawal symptoms they'd expect from a true addict. They also think she was misdiagnosed with ADHD, and shouldn't be taking Adderall. Addiction specialist Dr. Joe Haraszti (who, we should note, doesn't appear to treat Lohan) says that "people who take Adderall when they don't need it can experience similar effects as people who use cocaine or methamphetamine." He adds that the drug can produce "manic symptoms," including "driving around until all hours of the morning ... smoking heavily ... tweeting ... and texting all night long." Sounds like LiLo!

At first, though, we were skeptical. Another thing that mimics the effects of cocaine use is actual cocaine, which Lohan was caught with in 2007. And did Adderall really cause Lohan's two DUIs?

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If you believe addiction expert Dr. Marc Kern, maybe. Kern tells TMZ that people taking Adderall have a tendency to abuse alcohol, and adds, "The Adderall counteracts the sedative side effects of alcohol use … making these people often drink more than someone who does not take the drug." Obviously no drug can make you choose to get wasted, but some psychoactive meds can have unintended results. Ambien can make users sleep-eat, and some antidepressants can cause mania in bipolar patients. And while it's important to note that Adderall can be a godsend for some with ADHD, it can also in some cases cause mania, hallucinations, paranoia, and "believing things that are not true."

Plenty of things in Lohan's life could have contributed to her problems — it's not easy growing up in the public eye, especially if Michael Lohan is your dad. Some sources also tell TMZ she has a "personality disorder." Given all this, it's unlikely that Adderall was the sole cause of her substance abuse and legal infractions. But could it have contributed? We buy it.

Adderall May Have Unhinged Lindsay Lohan [TMZ]
Lindsay Lohan — Victim Of Bad Diagnosis [TMZ]

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DISCUSSION

In college everyone would take ritalin or adderall to study. It helped them to stay awake and study. I tried it once, but it's not my thing, I like to sleep to much to enjoy anything speedy.

I think there is a huge problem with the over medication of people. Pharmaceutical companies come up with all these new drugs, and convince people/doctors that everyone needs to be taking them, many of them for conditions that I really don't feel medication is needed for. I mean really, social anxiety disorder?? Maybe you should be a little anxious speaking in front of a group. I'm sure some people do have these conditions to a point where help is necessary, but I feel that a lot of people are being misdiagnosed and medicated when it really isn't necessary.

I also worry about antidepressants being handed out like candy. When I lost my father and my sister, everyone tried to get me to take them. I tried it for a week and hated it. I would wake up all crack-ass early, and happy about it, which is just not me. I feel like in certain situations, like when you lose your father, you should be depressed for a little bit, that is normal, and you work through it and come out on the other side, having grown from the experience. I'm glad I didn't medicate myself through these hard times. My mom has been on antidepressants for about 20 years, and she will never go off of them. I do not want to be happy because of a pill, I want to actually be happy. Again, I do think there are people with serious enough depression (chemical imbalances, etc.) that they need to be medicated, and that's great they get the help they need, but Doctors need to stop pushing "happy pills" on people who really don't need them.