In the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, the 24-year-old actress admits making mistakes in the past and "dabbling in certain things."
But in a July interview with the magazine before she served 14 days in jail followed by 23 days of inpatient rehab, she defended her actions, saying she was young and curious and was associating with the wrong people.
"So many people around me would say they cared for the wrong reasons," Lohan said. "A lot of people were pulling from me, taking from me and not giving. I had a lot of people that were there for me for, you know, the party."
Lohan says she used to get her news from tabloids, which she now calls "scary and sad."
"I would look up to those girls ... the Britneys and whatever," she said. "And I would be like, I want to be like that."
Despite everything, Lohan is confident in her acting abilities and future: "I don't care what anyone says. I know that I'm a damn good actress."
She says she'll do whatever it takes to fix her party-girl image.
"I want my career back," she said. "I want the respect that I had when I was doing great movies. And if that takes not going out to a club at night, then so be it. It's not fun anyway."
She also addresses issues with her father, Michael Lohan, saying, "I think my biggest focus for myself is learning how to continue to get through the trauma that my father has caused in my life."
Lohan talks about the mixed signals of seeing her father in court crying over her but then speaking to the media afterward.
Nancy Jo Sales, who wrote the article, says Lohan got emotional when talking about her younger sister Ali's presence in the courtroom. Lohan described seeing her sister cry as heartbreaking.
Lohan has a busy schedule ahead of her. She's required to comply with outpatient rehab, which includes two psychotherapy, two behavior therapy and five 12-step sessions a week.
Her next movie, "Machete," directed by Robert Rodriguez, hits theaters on Sept. 3.
She also has an apparel line, 6126, for which she designs clothes and signs off on decisions.
The October issue of "Vanity Fair" hits newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on Thursday and nationwide on Sept. 7.