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Johnny Lewis

Drugs Triggered

Psychotic Break

9/28/2012 6:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0927-johnny-lewis-2Johnny Lewis was a good guy whose life changed forever earlier this year -- after a very bad experience with drugs ... sources close to Lewis' family tell TMZ.

We're told the "Sons of Anarchy" star was "mentally healthy" -- until an episode early this year, when he dabbled with an undisclosed drug. Our sources say the incident triggered a "psychotic break" and he never recovered from it.

Family sources tell us ... after the episode Johnny changed dramatically -- he became mentally unstable and began to "self-medicate" to deal with the problem.

The family says doctors told them Johnny's condition was classified as "co-occurring disorders."  Translation -- by abusing drugs to treat the mental condition, Johnny was simultaneously troubled on 2 fronts.

As for the nature of the mental disorder -- family sources say they were never able to get Johnny stable enough to get a clear diagnosis.

As for the landlady's murder -- they do not believe it was triggered by a drug-fueled rage. We're told doctors had given Johnny medicine to stabilize his condition and when he was taking it he seemed fine, but when he got out of jail 6 days before the murder, they believe he stopped taking his meds and became extremely unstable and violent.


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How sad the old woman got caught up in his insanity.

726 days ago


This family is bat sh*t crazy! I thought people in Scientcrazyology do NOT believe in meds...especially psych meds. Not following the rules of the cult very well huh? Stop making excuses for your evil to the core son. He murdered an old woman and a cat. No sympathy!

726 days ago


I know that Scientology is against anti-depressants, so I am sure they are against medications for more serious mental health problems like schizophrenia. Maybe if they had not been so against people getting the help that they need and staying out of their members medical lives, this man and the woman he killed (and the cat) would still be alive today.

726 days ago


Regardless of what all the experts say. A disease is something that happens to you through no fault of your own. Having a problem with alcohol or drugs is not a disease. Go get help and get it taken care of. Here's a simple test. If someone locked you in a cell with only food and water, would your "disease" go away? Then it's not a disease, it's a bad habit!

726 days ago


In other words he mixed psychiatric drugs that doctors gave him and mixed them with meth. Everyone is going to see a lot more of these kinds of murders as the holiday stress season starts. Meth needs to be a number 1 priority among cops.

726 days ago


I'm so sick of people saying how he was such a NICE guy. Don't they say that about all people who end up monsters later on? Ted Bundy, such a nice. BS. This man was a ticking psychopath. I saw a video of him on google videos from back in the day, and you can tell something's not right with him. His eyes are flickering all over the place, and he seems tricky. I'm really disgusted by the fact that SOA and his family are trying to paint this guy as some poor guy who went off the rails. Lots of people are "unstable" mentally, they don't go around killing old ladies and cats. BS.

726 days ago


@HASSTDOO They were not treating addiction with more drugs. His drug experience earlier in the year messed up his brain and left him mentally ill. That is what they were trying to trreat. And yes, this happens. One very bad drug experience can permanently screw up your head. More commonly it is repeated exposure to drugs or alcohol that leaves people mental ill, also.

726 days ago


I just hope that Katy Perry, her actress best friend Shannon Woodward and their circle of friends stay the hell away from people that they know are messing around with hard drugs. They need to just avoid the druggies like they have a contagious disease.

Katy is on top of the music world these days. With all of her #1 hits (9 or so?), she obviously has a heck of a lot of talent. She's also probably going to be successful as an actress if she does that more in the future. Katy needs to just stick with the drinker crowd when she goes to parties.

Katy and her good friends should just leave a party if a bunch of people try to get them to do some heavy drugs. Even old friends who she's known since she was teenager should be avoided if she knows they are big drug heads. She shouldn't even be smoking cigs because it could mess up her lungs and vocal cords. I want to see Katy be a big star for a long time. Be smart Katy!

726 days ago


It's time to stop reporting on how nice of a guy this piece of crap was, he killed and hurt innocent people, never mind the excuses. You take a life, you give up your life, at least there will be some kind of justice for the poor lady that the courts would never have given to him had he survived his fall.

726 days ago


So sick of hearing excuses for a murdering drug addict p.o.s. He Should have just o.d and let the world be rid of a waste like him.

726 days ago


Horrible behaviour but sadly, not that uncommon. It's called a "dual diagnosis" and many, many drug addicts are self treating a mental health problem. This is of no consolation to the poor lady's family but it is a tragic reality. I have no answers, just pain for the two families.

726 days ago

Baby D    

Co-occuring disorders does not neccessarily mean self medicating a mental illness with drugs. The drugs can come first and trigger the mental illness.

SAMHSA's 2002 report to Congress defines co-occurring disorders as:
Individuals who have at least one mental disorder as well as an alcohol or drug use disorder. While these disorders may interact differently in any one person (e.g., an episode of depression may trigger a relapse into alcohol abuse, or cocaine use may exacerbate schizophrenic symptoms), at least one disorder of each type can be diagnosed independently of the other.
My guess is this was a psychotic break due to meth use. My hubby is a psychologist who specializes in co-occuring disorders, substance abuse and criminal behavior. And one of his cousins had a psychotic break from doing too much meth, and he went after his parents with a baseball bat once. He didn't hurt them, but gave them a good scare, and the guy has never really been the same. When he's off the meth and on his meds it's better, but he's still different.

726 days ago


A mentally stable person drug's or no drug's don;t just become insane over night inpossible.

726 days ago


I totally called this one! He clearly had a mental disorder, for which he was being treated in jail/rehab. But when he got out, he went off his meds (like so many in that situation do), choosing to "self-medicate" instead, and he had a psychotic break.

726 days ago


Here come the excuses!

I don't care if he was mentally ill, on psychotic drugs or both. Anyone who does what he did should die. The world is not safe with people like that walking around.

726 days ago
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