Lena Dunham on recovering from drug addiction: “Getting off Klonopin was the hardest”

Dunham was first prescribed the drug aged 12

Lena Dunham has discussed her past addiction to Klonopin, describing getting off the anxiety drug as “the hardest” thing she’s been through.

After being prescribed the drug aged 12, the actor and writer became increasingly dependent on it following filming on the last series of Girls – a period she described as being like a “50-car pileup”.

Back in 2017, at the time, Dunham faced criticism for defending Girls executive producer Murray Miller, who had been accused of rape by actor Aurora Perrineau. Miller denied the claims.

Dunham later retracted her statement and apologised, admitting she had lied about having ‘insider information’ regarding the accusations and that she defended Miller in an attempt to discredit Perrineau.

Lena Dunham. CREDIT: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Dunham said: “Those images of me at the last Girls premiere, skinny and hollow-eyed, that was 100 per cent my appetite and my body just shutting down in response to that.”

In 2018, Dunham entered rehab for an addiction to benzodiazepines, specifically Klonopin. In the same year, she underwent a hysterectomy to relieve the pain of endometriosis, broke up with longtime boyfriend Jack Antonoff and ended her creative partnership with Girls showrunner Jenni Konner.

“I’ve been through a lot of hard things in my adulthood,” Dunham said. “Getting off Klonopin was probably the hardest.”

Dunham, who is now completely sober, added: “If I know that I’m a person who can go too far in a time of psychological stress, then why not eliminate that possibility?”

Klonopin is a form of benzodiazepines, often used as sedative medication. It’s typically used to treat certain seizure disorders, along with anxiety and insomnia.

Dunham’s new film, Sharp Stick, is her first time directing in over a decade, and follows a young woman who has a hysterectomy aged 17. Alongside Dunham, the film stars Kristine Froseth, Taylour Paige, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jon Bernthal and Scott Speedman.

Sharp Stick is scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22.

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