Lohan was released from a California jail on Monday (02Aug10) after serving less than two weeks of a 90-day sentence for violating her probation relating to a 2007 DUI arrest.
She has now checked into rehab to spend 90 days receiving treatment for her addictions as part of her sentence.
Baldwin, who spent years battling a raging drug habit and endured nine stints in rehab, insists Lohan deserves sympathy because she "doesn't have a choice" when she turns to alcohol or illegal substances.
He tells U.S. TV show Larry King Live, "This woman has a disease. She doesn't have a choice in it. She has a disease. So it's not a fault thing. It's now a matter of whether or not she's going to go and get her (therapy) and decide that she's going to try to beat this disease, or she's going to succumb to it and end up killing someone in a car or die of an overdose...
"It's no different than any other disease. She suffers from an affliction that is treatable, and she can keep it in remission. But there is no cure for addiction."
And Baldwin is adamant Lohan needed to be forced into rehab by the courts otherwise she might never have addressed her problems.
He adds, "Lindsay is Lindsay's own worst enemy right now. She just keeps getting her way, because she won't surrender to the fact that she has this disease and this problem. So it's going to probably take the L.A. court system and a smart judge to put the screws to her a little bit to get her to see the light of day."