Lindsay Lohan Wants Out From Betty Ford Center: “I Need My Adderall”

The Lindsay Lohan saga continues…

As you may recall, Lindsay pleaded no contest in March to reckless driving and lying to police. As part of the plea agreement, she was ordered to 90 days in a locked hospital rehab facility.

She then decided not to show up at the Morningside Recovery in Newport Beach, just as her attorney was telling the judge that she was already admitted there.

Lindsay finally checked into the Betty Ford Center last Thursday, but is now threatening to leave because they have taken away her beloved Adderall pills. Lindsay claims that she takes the pills for her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As she told Piers Morgan last month:

I have ADD. I can’t stand still. So I take Adderall for that, it calms me. I know people who take it to stay up, or girls who take it to supposedly stay slim because it kills your appetite. But I eat all the time. I just take it to stay calm. It works well for me.

Doctors at the Betty Ford Center have evaluated Lindsay, and determined that there are other medications that can be used. Their policy is not to used Adderall on patients older than 15 years old because of its potential for addiction.

There is little chance that Judge Jim Dabney will dismiss the opinions of the experts at the facility and let her leave.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is a psychostimulant medication that contains four forms of amphetamine. It is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.   ADHD is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.  For many individuals, ADHD symptoms improve during adolescence or as age increases, but the disorder can persist into adulthood. In the United States, ADHD is diagnosed in an estimated 8 percent of children ages 4–17 and in 2.9–4.4 percent of adults.

How Do Prescription Stimulants Affect the Brain?

ecstasy 11All stimulants work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain—dopamine is a brain chemical (or neurotransmitter) associated with pleasure, movement, and attention. The therapeutic effect of stimulants is achieved by slow and steady increases of dopamine, which are similar to the natural production of the chemical by the brain. The doses prescribed by physicians start low and increase gradually until a therapeutic effect is reached.

However, when taken in doses and routes other than those prescribed, stimulants can increase brain dopamine in a rapid and highly amplified manner—as do most other drugs of abuse—disrupting normal communication between brain cells, producing euphoria, and increasing the risk of addiction.

Why and How Are Prescription Stimulants Abused?

Stimulants have been abused for both “performance enhancement” and recreational purposes (i.e., to get high).

They suppress appetite (to facilitate weight loss), increase wakefulness, and increase focus and attention. The euphoric effects of stimulants usually occur when they are crushed and then snorted or injected.

The dramatic increases in stimulant prescriptions over the last 2 decades have led to their greater availability and increased risk for abuse.  Because they are perceived by many to be generally safe and effective, prescription stimulants, such as Concerta or Adderall, are increasingly being abused for nonmedical conditions or situations. The practice is occurring among some academic professionals, athletes, performers, older people, and both high school and college students. Such nonmedical use poses potential health risks, including addiction, cardiovascular events, and psychosis.

What Adverse Effects Does Prescription Stimulant Abuse Have on Health?

  • Stimulants can increase blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and decrease sleep and appetite, which can lead to malnutrition and its consequences.
  • Repeated use of stimulants can lead to feelings of hostility and paranoia.
  • At high doses, they can lead to serious cardiovascular complications, including stroke.
  • Addiction to stimulants is also a very real consideration for anyone taking them without medical supervision. This most likely occurs because stimulants, when taken in doses and routes other than those prescribed by a doctor, can induce a rapid rise in dopamine in the brain. Furthermore, if stimulants are used chronically, withdrawal symptoms—including fatigue, depression, and disturbed sleep patterns—can emerge when the drugs are discontinued.

For more information, you can go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.


  1. Leslie

    March 26, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Lindsay is a perfect example of why not to take Adderall !! You can see how difficult it is to stay off this medication. She has probably seen top notch doctors and she is still struggling, to get her self back. Support groups, counseling, monitoring, understanding family, rehab may all be needed in order to kick this habit. Your body will be so dependent on Adderall, you need to take baby steps and celebrate each day you are clean. Good luck to all that need it. You can do it, but give your self time. It took time taking this medication to get addicted, so it will take time to get off it.

  2. Tina

    June 6, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    This is REDICULOUS! I’m sorry, but even though there are other meds out there, for some those OTHER meds aren’t an option. Especially if they can only tolerate amphetamines. If someone must have meds from severity of the disorder, forcing them to take anything but what they can tolerate can be damn dangerous! They’ll either continue to live a life of chaos because they just won’t take anything or the meds they’re forced to take will cause them medication-induced issues.

  3. Tina

    June 6, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Now, I’m not saying it’s ridiculous if addiction is evident. I’m aware that amphetamines are and the dangers of them. I for one don’t like them, I take methylphenidates. Can’t tolerate any amphetamines. But, I know someone who can only tolerate amphetamines and has no addiction problems what-so-ever. He NEEDS them to function!

    • Tina

      June 6, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Meant, are of what they are…typo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real Time Analytics Google Analytics Alternative