“I couldn’t leave [the facility],” the Pretty Little Liars alum, 34, said during the Wednesday, September 13, episode of her “Ned’s Declassified Podcast Survival Guide” podcast without mentioning when the incident occurred. “So, I overdosed. I remembered feeling so cold and I was, like, scrolling through my phone on my couch and trying to be like, ‘Who can I call?’ I went through my phone three times and there was nobody that I wanted to reach out to [or] wanted to call.
Shaw explained that she had been taking Adderall pills “all day” in between drinking tequila “from the bottle.” She added: “I poured my Xanax prescription out in my hand, plus, like, a few extra pills that I had, like, combined bottles for, and I just went [and poured them all in my mouth].”
Shaw then “blacked out for two days” and “I guess” went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to have her stomach pumped. “And then when I woke up — on a bed face-down — in a mental facility,” she recalled. “The first thing I did was get up, like, ‘Where the f—k [am I?]’ And I go to the doors, and just like a cartoon, two orderlies [grabbed me by each arm] and walked me back in there and I was like, ‘Holy s—t, I have to stay here.’”
Shaw further explained that she “had to convince the doctor that she was OK” in order to leave the facility after the mandatory three-hold was up. Six months later, “it happened” to the actress again.
“I got my dog taken away for three months, like put in the pound, like … I got f—ked and it was because I was drinking, like, in public and the cops came up on me and were arresting me for that,” Shaw claimed. “But I said, ‘God, f—king take me,’ and so they were like, ‘That’s more of a suicide thing than you going to jail.’”
While Shaw confessed that she “calmed down” when the police officers dropped her off at the mental facility, she still received a shot of Ativan and Benadryl. “Before I’m even out of cuffs, I remember I start falling onto the bed,” she said. “I’m asleep for a day and a half. They also thought I was a problem when I came in [because] I was talking to these cops about what else they wanted to do … by the time my episode was over.”
Shaw explained that she was “quarantined” in a room by herself, even claiming that she was not given a “tray for my food.”
“I remember them telling me, ‘You tested positive for methamphetamine’ and ‘You can leave,’” she said on the podcast, which she cohosts with her Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide costars Devon Werkheiser and Daniel Curtis Lee. “So, that was wild, dude. The first time was insane because … reading back hospital reports, [you see] your stomach being pumped but you have no idea. Like, you’re gone.”
Werkheiser and Lee, both 32, were stunned by her admission. Werkheiser, who previously dated Shaw after Ned’s Declassified wrapped, also opened up about their final interactions prior to her overdose.
“Some of the times [I’d] see you, I could just feel the f—king pain and the chaos,” he remembered on Wednesday’s episode. “And still, there’s my friend Lindsey, who I f—king love and I just want so many good things for, but f—k, there’s nothing I [could] do.”
Shaw noted that, at the time, she barely registered she was speaking with a “concerned” Werkheiser because she was “just trying to get by.” Her overdose and first 5150 hold occurred one week later after their meet-up.
Shaw, who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, previously revealed that her addiction struggles coincided with her years on Pretty Little Liars. She has claimed that she was let go from the ABC Family (now Freeform) mystery series while she dealt with drug and body image issues behind the scenes.
“When I had my drug problem and I was in between working on stuff, you know, I would never have to address my relationship with food because I was always like, ‘Oh, I could always just go get more Adderall,’” she said during a July episode of the podcast, noting show creator I. Marlene King did not fire her for her acting ability.
“[I. Marlene was] like, ‘But do you have anybody to talk to?’ And I was like, ‘Um, no.’ And she’s like, ‘We’ll find somebody, and we have to let you go for now,’” Shaw said at the time, remembering their HR conversation. “It was really sweet because they brought me back in season 7, and it was so lovely of that writing team to see that relationship and that character out. But I was — that was rough.”
Shaw has since been sober for several years and now speaks openly about her mental health and sobriety journeys.
If you or anyone you know is facing substance abuse issues, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information 24/7.