Mackenzie Phillips Shares Her Battles With Substance Abuse to Help Others

Former 1970s star speaks at Palm Springs Library special event

Michelle Roe Arts & Entertainment 0 Comments


Mackenzie Phillips has a thing or two to say about addiction and recovery.

As the daughter of famous parents (John Phillips of The Mamas and the Pappas) and a singer, actress and former child star on the popular television series One Day At A Time, Phillips has led a very public life.

Her personal struggles have been well documented by the media and her own detailed book, High on Arrival, which chronicles her battle with substance abuse.

Now happily sober, she wishes to use her past experiences to help others.


Phillips has been invited to speak at 2 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Palm Springs Public Library at a special dedication ceremony for their recovery resource library section. Funded by Michael’s House – Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Palm Springs in collaboration with the Heroes in Recovery movement, the library’s enhanced section will include books, DVDs and learning materials for those seeking information about addiction and recovery.

Phillips is on the other side of addiction, living in recovery. She travels to educate people with addiction, advocates understanding of this disease to combat social stigma and encourages those who might be struggling to seek help.

“I want to try to help people to understand addiction, and I do that by telling my own story,” she says. “My life is beautiful, and I want to be a part of showing people who are suffering that they don’t have to suffer anymore.”


MacKenzie Phillips starred in One Day at a Time with the late Bonnie Franklin (left) and Valerie Bertinelli (Photo by IMBD).


Phillips is also currently working toward her certification as a counselor to assist others in the path to recovery while interning at the Pasadena Recovery Center. As a Recovery and Treatment Advocate, she has found a passion for helping others.

“It’s fascinating…amazing going back to school in your 50s,” says Phillips, who is 55. “You are dealing with vulnerable people and people who are precious to another person. It’s heartbreaking, hopeful, complicated, and triumphant. A lot of work…and I love it. It gives me purpose.”

Between juggling speaking engagements, traveling to conferences and working 40 hours a week at the Pasadena Recovery Center, Phillips doesn’t have much spare time. However, in her work, Phillips has found her calling in sharing her positive message and inspirational personal journey.

• “I wake up happy and I always have even when things were really dark and I always found an upside and some kind of hope.”

• “I’m a big tweeter and big social media person. I see something that interests me and I comment and share.

• “I love animals and I have Pugs and Chihuahua’s and I have a 27-year old-son, Shane. He’s awesome.”

Mackenzie Phillips at the Palm Springs Library, 2 p.m. Oct. 5.; 760-322-7323.

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