That appears to be the hope of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox, who on Friday ordered the starlet to remain in rehab until January. In doing so he ended any short-term plans for the actress' comeback, but also followed the recommendations of medical professionals who say the "Mean Girls" star is only beginning to realize the depths of her addiction.
He also slyly removed one potential source of temptation and relapse.
"You're staying past the New Year's - there's a reason for that," Fox said.
Lohan, who was in court for her fifth time since May, cried after hearing the sentence for failing a recent drug test.
The ruling allowed Lohan to avoid a fourth trip to jail, but it wasn't exactly the outcome the actress was hoping for in advance of the hearing.
Lohan's probation report states she told an officer last week that she hoped to be released from the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif. after one month and cited financial worries. She told the officer that "continued inpatient treatment would be a hardship financially, and damaging to her career," according to the report.
The 20-acre addiction treatment hospital is not cheap - three months of inpatient treatment can cost nearly $50,000, according to its website.
Lohan cited problems with her clothing line and an upcoming role as porn star Linda Lovelace in a biopic as reasons for wanting to get out, the report stated.
The movie, however, will wait for Lohan.
"Inferno" writer-director Matthew Wilder says Lohan's rehab won't interfere with role and that production was already set to begin in mid-January.
"It looks good and we are not replacing (her)," he said Friday.
Fox warned Lohan that she could suffer further damage to her career if she did not succeed.
The actress has become more of a tabloid mainstay than box office draw since a pair of high-profile arrests in 2007 led to the current drug and drunken driving case. Once a star of Disney films, Lohan returned to the big screen this summer in a role in "Machete," but missed the opportunity to promote the film because of stints in jail and rehab.
Fox said if Lohan remains out of trouble until late February, he would allow her to serve unsupervised probation and leave Los Angeles if she wished.
"You'll put this long episode behind you," he said.
The judge had previously charted a course for Lohan's freedom, setting a 67-day regimen of outpatient counseling, treatment and drug testing in August when he agreed to release her early from another court-ordered rehab.
Within weeks, however, Lohan, 24, had failed a drug screening. That prompted Fox to try to send her to jail for nearly a month, but that ruling was quickly overruled on appeal.
Those treating Lohan now told probation officials the actress' best hope is a long stay in rehab.
A psychotherapist who started treating Lohan during a 23-day stay at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this year said, "He believes that the defendant needs to continue to work on her issues in order to save her life," according to Lohan's probation report.
The actress' probation officer concurred. "Possibly removing herself from her lifestyle and its pressures for an extended period is exactly what is needed to preserve her health," the report states.
Lohan is due back in court on Feb. 25. Probation officials have been ordered to prepare another report to show the actress' progress after a few months out of the limelight.