Judy Garland's daughter, Lorna Luft, talks about drug addiction and celebrity

Was another celebrity killed by an enabler who happened to be a physician? I lost my mother, legend Judy Garland, on June 22 1969, 40 years ago, to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. She was only 47 years old. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was only 16. I remember the burning pain, confusion, the sense of fear of ‘what’s going to happen to me,’ and of course a sense of loss I have never gotten over.

Over the past forty years I have relived her passing away every single day. When I see one of her numerous movies shown on television, pass by a store with her iconic photo as the little girl from Kansas, Dorothy Gale, or hear one of her recordings, I remember her brilliant artistry on countless stages.

My mother was a magnificent human being and a talent we will never see again. And yes, my mother was addicted to prescription drugs. I spent my early adolescent years filling her prescription medications with sugar so she wouldn’t overdose. In the end, no one could have saved her. We did not have the knowledge, education and facilities we have now.

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I know we have all heard this story before. I wrote a book about my life in the hope that telling my story would shed some light, and make a difference in the way many people viewed a life that ended way before its time. It was also the story of how far we have come in the education and knowledge of the world of addiction. In the book I told of how I battled my own addiction and have been sober for 26 years.

But what has saddened, disturbed, angered and frustrated me in the last 40 years is still the unethical and irresponsible way that many doctors in the medical field continue to over-prescribe drugs to celebrities and the rich and famous. It seems that we haven’t learned anything over the past 4 decades.

The countless stories I hear of being able to walk into certain doctors’ offices and walk out with a shopping cart full of prescription drugs is endless. We have all heard the stories of the various “Dr Feelgoods” in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and now. Also, we hear countless references to drugs in rhythm and blues and rock n roll lyrics. We have also heard the phrases “Mother’s Little Helpers” for decades.

Who is to blame for all this? I think a lot of blame can be attributed to the culture we live in, the financial benefits to all concerned, and the fanaticism of being around the wealthy and famous. Like moths to a flame, some think maybe their fame will rub off on the one who stands nearest the “Star.” My belief is that the responsibility of the addict is absolutely number one, but we can’t forget the enablers who have helped them all on their journey into the abyss – the ones who have “lied” to protect, “deceived” to protect, “loved them” to protect, and most importantly, BENEFITTED FROM their addiction. God only knows I know how hard it is to have an addict in your life. The pain, grief and chaos it causes is unbelievable and unbearable. I stand with everyone who has fought to get peace and serenity in their tumultuous lives.

We are facing a moral and ethical dilemma: shameful doctors who took an oath to save lives have now helped destroy them. These people must be severely prosecuted and given long and healthy prison sentences. To the countless people who have lost a loved one and who are suffering the same pain, anger and bottomless grief in their lives today: Stand up and say, “No more!” Let’s not let our poor, lost and sick souls who we loved with all our hearts and whose we couldn’t reach, die in vain.

As much as I am not a fan of Lorna, this woman knows exactly what she's talking about (having lived it). If an addict can't even have doctors to rely on, how can someone be expected to recover?

She's going to be on Larry King on Monday talking about this/Michael Jackson and I can't wait to see what she has to say.

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