“We’re all happy that she is where she is,” a friend of Lohan’s tells PEOPLE in its new issue. “Everyone’s just been waiting [for something tragic to happen]. All of us thought there would be something soon.”
After Lohan, 20, checked into the Promises treatment center in Malibu – where Britney Spears recently underwent rehab – those close to her greeted the news with a mix of relief, worry and guarded optimism.
“We are all praying for her,” says a Lohan relative, noting that Lohan’s mother, Dina, 44, “is doing the best she can.”
The turning point came when the actress was arrested and cited for DUI on Saturday morning after her Mercedes struck a curb on Sunset Blvd. Lohan was hospitalized for minor injuries – and police said they found a substance tentatively identified as “a usable amount” of cocaine in connection with the accident.
Far from keeping a low profile, Lohan headed out just one night later to a private bash in a poolside room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where sources say drugs were openly used. This time, the revelry ended with the paparazzi photographing a listless Lohan being driven away.
It may be the last time Lohan – who had planned to celebrate her 21st birthday on July 2 with a blowout at Las Vegas hot spot Pure – is out on the town for a long while: On Tuesday her rep confirmed that the actress, who completed a monthlong substance-abuse treatment program in January, had admitted herself to “an intensive medical rehabilitation facility” on Memorial Day.
This time friends say her commitment to getting better could prove more enduring. “The police intervening is a wake-up call,” says one. “This could be the best thing for her. I think she’ll have to do a real rehab this time, and not just a Hollywood rehab.” Says another: “Everyone has tried to step in,” says a good friend. “You can’t make someone get help unless they want to.”
Those who know Lohan also say that any threat to her career will prompt her to take serious action. “She cares about her craft and about her career,” says a source. “She wants to be a Jodie Foster, so when she does things that are affecting her progress, that makes her upset.”
For more on Lindsay’s road to rehab, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.