Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aerosmith: Steven Tyler pays tribute to Betty Ford

Former U.S. First Lady Betty Ford was an inspiration to many for her courage to overcome her own addictions and her efforts to help others facing similar battles in life.

CNN reports Betty, the wife of the late President Gerald Ford and the co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California, died Friday at the Eisenhower Medical Center in California Friday evening, according to Matt McLogan, a spokesman with the Gerald R. Ford Foundation. She was 93.

Ford would go on to become a high-profile example of substance abuse issues and was a tireless advocate for drug- and alcohol-abuse treatment.

"My addiction was a combination of alcohol and the prescription drugs that ... both were a part of my life, but they did not become a problem until they overrode my common sense," Ford told CNN in 2003. "I didn't know what was happening, I just knew that I felt great and the pain was gone."

She wanted others to be rid of their pain as well, and in October 1982, she and friend Leonard Firestone opened the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. To this day, the center remains one of the most well-known and respected places nationwide for treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependencies.

Among the many who offered tributes to Ford and her work were former clients who sought treatment at the Center, including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

"Betty Ford took a risk at one of the worst times of her life and came forward to share a message of recovery in order to serve others,” said Tyler. “Her vision, passion and amazing heart led to the Betty Ford Center, the gold standard of treatment facilities. She will be missed, but her work in recovery will live on."

Aerosmith Aerosmith

Aerosmith – Amazing (1993)

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