As Lindsay Lohan rides out her stint in jail, the troubled starlet is very likely mulling over her plans for the future. While her present circumstances may appear bleak, an addiction expert tells us that there is hope for the actress. Robert J. Lindsey, president and CEO of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) told MTV News that despite her personal and professional trials, Lohan can bounce back.
"Without question, Lindsay can recover. We have seen over and over people whose lives have progressed to the point where they lose their job, they lose their family, they lose their physical health, they lose their freedom. But still, people can and do recover from their alcoholism and addiction," Lindsey said, adding that as an addict, Lohan may have a natural strong affinity for drugs and alcohol. However, she is not alone, and numbers suggest that she can overcome her issues.
"We estimate today there are 22 million people in this country over the age of 12 that are addicted to alcohol and other drugs. The good news is we also estimate that there may be as many as 15 million individuals and family members living in recovery. The good news is, absolutely, Lindsay can recover."
Following her prison bid, Lohan will report to rehab for 90 days, and Lindsey said that her experience in rehab should kick off a long process of recovery that Lohan will have to vigilantly maintain.
"That 90-day period is incredibly important as starting the recovery process. It is not the solution, it is the first step in the process," said Lindsey. "The next critical [step] is that when she leaves the facility ... what are you going to do to make sure that you're life's different? Are you going to need to find different friends, different support, ongoing therapy, ongoing involvement in 12-step groups, regular testing? All of those things can be very important steps in the process.
"Without question, anybody who's living with active alcoholism and addiction has to do a number of specific things to begin the process of recovery," Lindsey continued. "Number one is to safely stop their use of alcohol or other drugs. And then, begin to do the things that are necessary for their ongoing recovery. That's education and information. That's getting connected to a support group that can help them. That's getting therapy for themselves and/or for their family that can help them and begin to make the changes that are gonna be needed and necessary to be able to maintain a lifestyle that's alcohol- and drug-free."
After spending years as a fixture on the international nightclub circuit and fending off ever-present hordes of paparazzi as her career declined due to a rash of box-office flops, Lohan has fallen victim to several of the pitfalls of fame. However, Lindsey asserts that getting back in the game could benefit the star.
"What we've learned over the years is that work is an extremely important part of someone's recovery. For all of us, we literally define ourselves in many cases by what we do. [If] somebody says, 'Who are you?' We tell them who we are and then we tell them what we do. For her, the opportunity to return back to work, to fulfill those responsibilities ... the things that are so rewarding to her, are extremely important in her recovery."
What are you looking forward to seeing Lindsay Lohan do when she leaves rehab? Let us know in the comments below.