The bikinied Lindsay Lohan flaunted her latest souvenir from rehab – an alcohol-monitoring anklet – as celeb photogs happily snapped away in Malibu on Sunday. Despite the electronic device designed to measure her blood-alcohol level, Lohan has been a frequent sight on the party circuit since checking out July 13 from Promises, the chic alcohol- and drug-abuse treatment center in Malibu. Her arrest early Tuesday in Santa Monica on suspicion of drunk driving plus cocaine possession and other possible charges raised new questions about whether her rehab was just an extended vacation and the possible legal fallout from another DUI arrest in late May. “It’s a trip to the spa,” said Ken Seeley, an intervention specialist on A&E’s popular TV series “Intervention.” “The bad news is that these girls come out and party and the average person thinks, `Rehab doesn’t work.’ Not true – it works for a whole lot of people. “But they only work for the truly desperate. And it’s hard to be desperate if you’re a celebrity.” That’s because, David says, when normal people act like jerks, friends eventually abandon them. When wealthy, young celebrities – whose notoriety guarantees them access to hot clubs and free merchandise – behave like self-obsessed idiots, those around them often grin and bear it, so as not to disturb their gravy-train status. “They surround themselves with `yes’ people,” Seeley said. “The minute you say `no,’ they don’t write you a check.” There are Hollywood celebrities – even ones famous for actually doing something – who eschew the whole posse ethos and manage to celebrate their 21st birthdays in relative anonymity. (Lohan left rehab for a day to celebrate her 21st birthday at the beach with friends instead of flying to Las Vegas where a big bash was planned.) Shia LaBeouf, star of the summer blockbuster “Transformers,” turned 21 last month by going to a Beverly Hills cigar lounge where he smoked stogies and drank a bit of scotch. “The Hollywood party thing? That’s just not interesting to me,” LaBeouf told the Daily News. “That just seems, like, kinda square. “Nobody really has fun at those clubs anyway. If I want to party, I’ll party at my house. I can probably get away with more. Eat (in the) nude! There’s just no point in doing it publicly.” Unless, of course, you’re doing it for the publicity. “There’s a whole substrata of the Los Angeles population who are people with no talent or work ethic but they still think they’re entitled to the rewards that come with fame,” said comedian Patton Oswalt. “Basically, they want free (stuff) – goodie bags, access to exclusive clubs – and the ultimate reward, which is treating other people like dirt. “And the best way to get all this is to get in with one of these loser celebrities, someone who doesn’t possess any particular talent either, but has somehow managed to parlay that lack of redeeming value into a temporary career.” It’s possible to break through a celebrity’s circle of denial, Seeley says, but it takes someone willing to make a hard stand. “Britney Spears is having problems with her mother because her mother isn’t yessing her anymore, so Britney is getting upset,” Seeley said. “But that’s what a mom should do. Lindsay Lohan’s mom likes to party with her daughter at clubs, essentially co-signing her behavior.” Howard Samuels, executive director of the Wonderland rehab center in West Hollywood, agrees that celebs caught in addiction need to change their habits and friends. The misconception, he says, is that treatment cannot include everyday activities – which may include trips home, to the beach or birthday celebrations with family and friends. “People think you need to be punished if you’re a drug addict, but treatment is not about punishment,” Samuels said. “Recovering from addiction and living your life sober can’t be done if you’re locked up all the time. “The only way to cope with life’s stresses is to be out there, dealing with them.” Which, for better or worse, is where Lohan finds herself now. “If she takes her recovery seriously, she could impact millions of lives,” David said. “She could be the Betty Ford for a young generation caught up in an epidemic of partying.” [email protected] (818) 713-3672160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “These girls are going in there, doing their time, but they’re doing it with their arms crossed. They’re not surrendering to the treatment. So they come out and embarrass themselves again.” These girls include Britney Spears who, after a one-day rehab stay in Antigua, shaved her head at a Tarzana beauty salon. She then checked into Promises – twice – the first time for barely a day, the second for close to a month. Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie and rapper Eve also have made the all-star police blotter that has put rehab and recovery in the public spotlight in an unprecedented fashion. The question now might be whether recovery can recover from its brush with these stars. “The good news is that addiction and recovery are now out there and discussed,” said Anna David, author of “Party Girl,” a novel based on her own days as a drug addict and alcoholic.