Mischa Barton developed an alcohol problem in her teens, triggering years of subsequent abuse, according to a close friend.
Stacey Kives, a stylist who worked with Mischa on the set of The O.C, claims the actress began her affair with booze from the tender age of 14, reports The Sun.
Stacey said: "She was on the path to self-destruction - it was just a question of when she was going to be ready to do something about it.
"Mischa has been drinking since she was about 14, and she doesn't drink to have fun any more - she drinks not to feel anything.
"But I think this last episode has scared her straight. She finally sounds like she's seeing reality."
Earlier this month, party animal Mischa was sectioned under involuntary psychiatric hold in the US after cops were called to her home.
Kives admits she's relieved that her pal is finally being treated for her problems after years spent in denial.
She added: "Mischa's finally willing to get some help. She was partying so hard before. Whenever a close friend would say, 'Mischa, I'm worried about you,' she would distance herself.
"It was just a matter of time before she hit rock bottom. Now she wants her friends and family around her. It's a good sign."