I'm a Hollywood Actress Who is Quitting Adderall -- and Speaking Out About The Epidemic

Everyone around me is tweaked out of their minds, but I just flushed my pills down the toilet.
Publish date:
August 20, 2012
addiction, Hollywood, quitting, adderall

A few weeks ago, I made the decision to quit to Adderall -- for good and for real this time.

After getting a very angry note from an investor, I just flushed my batch down the toilet. (Yes, I heard it was not the eco move to make, but at the time I was swept away with the symbolism. Forgive me.) Dumping my supply for good was not a “should I do this” question. It was really more of an “I have to do this” imperative. I found myself losing friends and on the verge of losing work, too. I looked dead-eyed and soulless and raggedy and gaunt and obvious.

The sad thing? Everyone around me is still on this awful drug. It’s like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” out here.

And, honestly, I mean everyone. Fellow actresses. Hipster rockers. Waiters. Children of famous people. The rich. The poor. How wealthy you are depends on if you can get a consistent dose of it, but when I quit I told my doctor not to give it to me anymore. So if I want it now, I would have to actually forage through a drug dealer, which I’m not prepared to do. It’s crazy the reputation you get on the drug, though. The other night at the Chateau someone actually asked me if I was “holding.” Unbelievable. No, Los Angeles. I am not holding.

But everyone else seems to be. It’s like an after-dinner aperitif or pot or cordials, everyone is chatting for hours and no one’s making any sense. People are just babbling and pretending that the economy isn’t falling apart. And now that I’m off of it, I do not want you hovering and buzzing around my psychic space if you are on the stuff. It’s toxic.

And when I was on the little blue pill, I was becoming toxic, too. My personality was morphing into some kind of prick day-trader, and the drugs were hitting me more and more like a car crash. I was attracting the wrong men and creating dumb controversy. Not on like a Lohan level, but flirting with it. I wouldn’t say I was a total trainwreck, but you could definitely hear the rumbling. I couldn’t even improvise my lines well. I was writing longwinded emails I regretted. I was completely shut down from intimacy. My personal relationships were getting damaged, and everyone could tell I was high, even though I was in denial and thought things were just great.

Years ago I met Jane through Hollywood theater circles, and when she approached me about writing for xoJane, I said I would only do it anonymously and only if I could write about the very un-chic horror of finding myself surrounded by all these Adderall zombies.

Seriously, when I read the Cat Marnell piece in The New York Times, I realized I needed to write this. It made me sad. It’s time to stop. It’s time to lead a more mindful existence. This column is dedicated to her. Let’s leave it at that.

Hilariously enough, last night I actually ran into the quack who first prescribed Adderall to me in 2008, right around when Britney Spears was losing it, and I even saw Britney’s tox-screen at the time, and let me tell you, that made me more careful with the amount I was taking. I went from 10 mg in the morning to 15 mg. Depending on how cokey I wanted to feel.

As any addict knows, Adderall feels spikey when you’re on it, like Ritalin in the impact. Except now that I’m off of it I can actually see how truly gross it was starting to make me. I can also tell you that the kick is tolerable -- and totally worth it. Know what’s unbelievable? The loser drug-pushing faux-groovy psychiatrist quack who introduced me to Adderall even had the gall to charge me $2,000 a session. It’s like getting me hooked on what is considered the socially acceptable, totally legal version of cocaine wasn’t enough for him. He had to financially screw me, too. And thanks to medical jokes like him, everyone in this city is tweaked out of their brains on the stuff.

The good news is, now that I’m off of it, people are telling me that I am 100 percent different. It’s like they have “me” back. Honestly, your inner life is reflected as an actress, and your Q rating is impacted, and Adderall ruins all of that -- while making you think that you’re better than ever.

When the reality is: You’re a walking disaster.