Mackenzie Phillips of Hit Seventies' Show 'One Day at a Time' Sheds Light on Why She Became a Drug Addict at 11

Jaimie-lee Prince
May 23, 2019
08:37 P.M.

From a very early age, Mackenzie Phillips suffered a hard life that involved drug addiction and a first arrest before she was 18. Fortunately, the star came through it and is thriving today.


The former actress is best known for her role on the show "One Day At a Time" from the '70s. When her rocky history came out in her memoir, however, it was hard to forget the shocking revelations she revealed.

Phillips shared her jaw-dropping childhood history

In her 2009 book "High on Arrival," Phillips divulged that she had an incestuous relationship with her father, John Phillips, who was in the band called The Mamas and the Papas.

An interview on Oprah Winfrey's special called "Oprah: Where Are They Now," featured Phillip speaking about why she believes she entertained the relationship and what led her to drug abuse.


She believes she knows why the drugs happened

At just ten, the actress' father taught her how to roll a joint, he himself being a heavy drug user. By 11, Phillips had taken cocaine. As to why she started so young, she said:

“I come from a long line of undiagnosed mental illness, rampant addiction, and alcoholism. So there’s the genetic component. And then there’s the introduction to these types of behaviors at a very young age.”


Her first arrest at 17 easily fell into line with what she saw around her. “You become desensitized to seeing all kinds of out-of-control behavior and inappropriate things,” she insisted.

She continued:

“You have this idea that in order to be an adult, that this is a rite of passage. [In] that moment, that genetic monster inside wakes up and goes, ‘Oh, man, I’m hungry.’ I fed the beast, and the beast was shame, the beast was not understanding the neglect, not understanding the abuse.”


She spiraled into addiction, blaming herself for everything

Like many victims, Phillips blamed herself at one point and wondered if something "was inherently wrong with [her]" that called for punishment. She remembered thinking, "something is severely wrong with me, but nobody's telling me."

Later on, Phillips realized what she was actually missing from those around her:

"I didn’t really know where I belonged or who to trust. You know, at 5, you’re just supposed to be filled with love and feeling welcomed. And I didn’t feel that way.”


The actress' drug use went on for years until she finally got sober. She now works as a drug rehab counselor in California's Pasadena Recovery Center. Phillips herself has been to rehab 11 times, reported Radar Online.

When she finally healed, she helped others in a similar plight

Now, she's helping others overcome their addictions and trying to be more grateful for what she has. In her book, she wrote: “I have lived a life of incredible abundance, and every door that has been opened to me by grace I have slammed shut right behind me."

Despite her horrendous abuse, which Philips described in a reading of her book on a 2010 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," she went on to call her current undertaking as a counselor the "icing on a really beautiful cake."

Shields and Yarnell were also part of the '70s buzz


Another '70s show that one might remember was the "Shields and Yarnell" variety segment. It featured married mimes Robert Shields and Lorene Yarnell. The two were not involved with drugs, but their relationship ended after 14 years.

Sadly, Yarnell passed away in 2010 due to a brain aneurysm, while Shields continued his artistic endeavors. We wish him and Phillips well as they strive to overcome past tragedies and share wisdom through their unique talents.

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news.AmoMama.com does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. news.AmoMama.com speaks out against the above mentioned and news.AmoMama.com advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.

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