Lena Dunham reflects on drug addiction: ‘Getting off Klonopin was the hardest’

Writer was first prescribed the drug at the age of 12

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 20 January 2022 08:50
Lena Dunham apologsises publicly for not believing a woman who accused one of her friends of sexual assault

Lena Dunham has reflected on her addiction to the anxiety drug Klonopin.

The screenwriter became increasingly dependent on the drug due to the stress she experienced while filming the last series of Girls, a time she described as being like a “50-car pileup”.

At the time, in 2017, she was facing fierce criticism for defending Girls writer/executive producer Murray Miller, whom actor Aurora Perrineau had accused of rape, which he denied. Dunham later apologised and admitted that she lied in an attempt to discredit Perrineau.

“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,” Dunham told The Hollywood Reporter.

In 2018, Dunham had a hysterectomy to relieve the pain of endometriosis, broke up with her longtime boyfriend Jack Antonoff, entered rehab for an addiction to benzodiazepines, and ended her creative partnership with Girls co-showrunner Jenni Konner.

“I’ve been through a lot of hard things in my adulthood. Getting off Klonopin was probably the hardest,” said the writer, who was first prescribed the drug at the age of 12.

Klonopin is a brand of benzodiazepines, which are a type of sedative medication. They slow down the body and brain’s functions. They can be used to help with anxiety and insomnia.

Lena Dunham

Dunham is now sober from drugs and alcohol. “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?” she said.

Dunham’s new film, Sharp Stick, is about a young woman who has a hysterectomy aged 17. It will premiere virtually at Sundance on 22 January.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in