Mackenzie Phillips Training To Become Drug And Alcohol Counselor

By McCarton Ackerman 10/03/14

Phillips is starting at the bottom doing intern work like filing and making copies.

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Not everyone from Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew has fallen off the wagon. One Day At A Time actress Mackenzie Phillips has stayed sober since her time on the show and is now pursuing certification as a drug and alcohol counselor.

Fittingly, the 55-year-old is interning at the Pasadena Recovery Center, the facility where she and her fellow cast members stayed on Celebrity Rehab. She acknowledged that most of her days interning are spent doing grunt work like filing papers and scanning charts, but it’s a sacrifice she’s happily willing to make.

"Time doesn't necessarily treat or heal addiction and alcoholism. It's what are you doing the day that you're in that takes you away from the drink and the drug instead of toward them,” she said. "That's the power that recovery gives a person; the ability to set and maintain boundaries. Never thought I'd be able to do it."

Phillips also chronicled her decades-long struggle with addiction in her 2009 memoir High on Arrival, which also went into detail about the incestuous relationship with her father, John Phillips, of the Mamas and the Papas that she had for a decade. She alleged that she would go to her father for drugs, black out, and then have moments of awareness that she was being raped by him.

"Drugs give a false sense of reality and well-being," she wrote in the book. "Then, without warning, they turn on you and take control of your reality instead of enhancing it. You're on the fast track to endless demoralization. But you're the last to know you're completely out of control."

Phillips acknowledged in February 2011 that the revelations in her book destroyed her relationship with her family and her acting career, but believed that it was worth it to tell the truth.

“I knew my book was not going to be a résumé builder or a five-episode arc on House,” she said. “But I felt compelled to tell my story as it happened, not as I wish it happened. So…I’m not a working actor at this point. I wish I was. I know I’m good at what I do.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.