11/05/2010 01:21 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Secret Addiction Behind Lindsay Lohan's Public Life

Lindsay Lohan is an addict.

This isn't a new headline. Her battle with drugs and alcohol has been scattered across the blogosphere. However, her most harrowing addiction isn't discussed often. It is the most powerful drug of all: attention.

And we are her supplier.

At this point in her career, Lindsay is more famous for being infamous than she is for her talent. Everyone knows her name, but many don't even know what she does. Is she a singer? An actor? A WNBA player? A gangsta rapper? The celebrity gossip columns are abuzz over Lindsay who hasn't had a major hit... whatever she does... in years.

For what it's worth, Team Lohan has milked the limelight brilliantly. They have managed to turn an unfortunate, drug-ridden, spiraling career into Lindsay's name becoming among the most often mentioned in Hollywood. She has the full "viral celebrity kit": the pretty face, the "good girl gone bad" storyline, the family feud, the ambiguous talent but charming personality, and the coup de grâce, a nickname that is a truncated version of her full name, "LiLo."

Lindsay Lohan's life has become a circus that we can't stop watching. Even those who will never see her movies, buy her CDs, or wear her jersey (or whatever she does for a living) still find ourselves compelled against our will to click on links to stories dishing on her latest escapade. When she's in jail, we want to know. When she's partying, we want to know. When she's in rehab, we want to know. When she's wearing Nike's or eating McDonald's or blowing her nose with Kleenex tissues, we want to know!

Now in her fifth stint in rehab, the question everyone is asking is, "When will Lindsay finally learn?" The short answer: she already has.

• Lindsay has learned that every time she gets busted and goes to court, her search engine hits go through the roof.
• Lindsay has learned that jail time can be reduced to the equivalent of a toddler going to timeout. Magazines will toss millions of dollars her way for the right to have the first interview after her release. Nightclubs and restaurants will clamor to get her in their doors.
• Lindsay has learned that there are absolutely no consequences or accountability when you're über famous.
• Lindsay has learned that, despite not recently having much of a career outside of getting in trouble, she remains one of the most followed, most photographed, most discussed celebrities in Hollywood. Like it or not, our LiLo obsession has made her a bonafide A-lister.

She seems to want to get it together, but there is really no incentive for her to change her ways.

Can you blame her?

Lindsay Lohan is an addict.

And so are we.