Hellerstein is one of the more respected names in the field of addiction treatment, having worked with many celebrities including Michael Jackson and Princess D…
Hellerstein is one of the more respected names in the field of addiction treatment, having worked with many celebrities including Michael Jackson and Princess Diana. She is known for being sensitive to the needs of her clients, working to ensure that they receive personal care, support and therapy while they are receiving treatment. Her father, Dr. Milton Hellerstein, was a highly respected addiction specialist and director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, based in New York City. His book, “Marilyn: My Father,” which was published in 1982, remains a staple in addiction recovery circles. His son, Marilyn A., was a famous singer and actress whose life was touched by alcohol and drug addiction, eventually making him an advocate for better treatment programs.
Like many of the people that underwent treatment under the supervision of Marilyn A., her father died of an alcohol overdose at the age of 33. Following her father’s death, Marilyn A. was determined to break the cycle of abuse that her father suffered from throughout his life, and she did. Through her work with other people who had been in similar situations as her father, Marilyn began to put together an organization that would provide residential treatment and counseling for families in need. Today, that organization, Narconon Desert Trail, serves over 13,000 people a year in the United States, along with thousands of families around the world. One in ten children in the United States suffer from some kind of addiction, and nearly a quarter of these children have come from a situation that resulted in abusive or neglectful relationships.
Though there are many different programs that can help people suffering from drug addiction, Marilyn A. did have an affinity for doing drug rehab in Las Vegas, due to the fact that her father used to take her to sessions run by former addicts and alcoholics. After seeing how her father treated those in need during those times, Marilyn decided to devote her life to working with other parents in the same shoes. It was after working with many of them, in addition to studying addiction and family dynamics, that she learned that one of the most important keys to making a recovery is having a strong support system, and she applied that philosophy in helping to create Narconon Desert Trail.