Mackenzie Phillips Helps Those Who Battle Addiction


By Staff Writer

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After years in the spotlight for her struggles with substance abuse, Mackenzie Phillips is showing up in headlines for an unexpected

reason. The star, whose career began with American Graffiti, peaked in the sitcom One Day at a Time, and enjoyed a recent resurgence with Disney’s So Weird, is now the author of a self-help book.

Hopeful Healing: Essays on Managing Recovery and Surviving Addiction is the result of Phillips’s journey to become a licensed counselor: “I’m passionate about recovery…seeing people wake up, seeing people change,” Phillips told USA Today in a recent interview, calling her experiences as a counselor “so much more fascinating than playing a character on television.”

While writing the book, Phillips leaned on her personal experiences overcoming her own addictions; topics include her substance abuse while filming One Day a Time (which ultimately led to her 1980 dismissal from the program), her early encounters with drugs in her parents’ home, and her battle to deal with a 2008 arrest for heroin possession at age 49.

On this side of her battles with addiction, Phillips seems at peace with her life, living with several pets and her adult son Shane, and serving as a counselor, which she calls her “true calling.” She wrote the book primarily to offer hope and advice from her own experience to those who battle addiction: “I have a lot of experience about what it’s like to relapse [and]what you’re supposed to do with your time: shame, guilt, trust…You don’t have to live that way anymore. We do recover.”

Her new book is much tamer than her previous written work. A 2009 autobiography, High on Arrival, contained salacious content of her privileged childhood, including scenes of underage substance abuse and details of an inappropriate relationship with her father. Phillips hopes for a calmer response to this new work, anticipating that the principles she’s learned from her own recovery and her experiences as a counselor will prove valuable to readers battling their own addiction.