Mackenzie Phillips Celebrates Five Year Success
Articles / Blog
02-17-14 Category: News and Announcements

Actress, singer and author MacKenzie Phillips, best known for her debut acting role in the 1973 film American Graffiti and her starring role in the 1970s and 1980 television sitcom series One Day at a Time, helped Sovereign Health Group celebrate its five-year anniversary operating in San Clemente, California at an Open House, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.

Sovereign Health offers a continuum of assessment and treatment for substance abuse, mental health and eating disorders. The behavioral health company began operations five years ago with just six treatment beds. Today, it has more than 100 treatment beds and more than 100 employees just in San Clemente.  The Open House included complementary tours and dinner, followed by Phillips’ presentation.

Philips Opens Up About Addiction

Phillips, 54, now sober and drug-free, spoke about her long history of drug addiction and alcoholism. Born Lauren Mackenzie Phillips, she is the daughter of singer John Phillips, lead singer and chief songwriter of the pioneering folk-rock band, The Mamas and the Papas.  Her father, who died in 2001 of complications related to a liver transplant, was infamous for his high-flying lifestyle that included rampant abuse of various drugs including cocaine and heroin, and subsequently alcohol.

Phillips says she learn to roll a joint at the age of 10, and first used cocaine at the age of 11. She was cast in American Graffiti at the age of 12, and became a starring cast member of One Day at a Time at the age of 16, in 1975. She was fired twice from the show for her addiction problems. At one point, the five-foot seven-inch tall actress weighed only 90 pounds due to her cocaine use. She was arrested several times, and was in several detox and rehabilitation centers over the years.

High On Arrival

In 1980, her father was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to distribute drugs, and the two both went into rehab and went on the speaking circuit. In 1981, Mackenzie went back to One Day at a Time, but was fired again in 1983 for her substance abuse.

In 1984, at the age of 24, Phillips was broke, and her acting career went into limbo for eight years because of her reputation. She did eventually resume working, but was arrested for drug possession in 2008, followed by an 18-month rehab program. In 2009, Phillips’s autobiography, High on Arrival, was published.

She says her message is one of hope,” because as long as there is breath in the body there is hope for recovery.”

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