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But the Betty Ford Center wasn’t part of the trend. Ford was fine with famous patients discussing their treatment at the center _ provided they stayed sober _ but the facility keeps its clients confidential.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction specialist who also hosts “Loveline” and “Celebrity Rehab,” wrote in a statement to The Associated Press that Ford was a pioneer who had given a voice, and help, to millions.

Betty’s deep appreciation of the pain of addiction sufferers motivated her to simply put aside her fear of personal harm and tell her story,” Pinksy wrote. “With that one gesture of courage and honesty Betty Ford swept aside an eternity of discrimination. She knew that in doing so she would give millions of addicts and especially women with addiction, the opportunity for recovery and a flourishing life.”

In 1996, Grammer described to Jay Leno how his treatment at Betty Ford helped restore his joy of living. The comedian also quipped about the center’s stature and its famous patients.

“When I was on my way to the Betty Ford Center, I turned to one of my friends and said, `You know, I’ve finally made it. I’m going to the Betty Ford Center,’” he said.

When a judge sent Lohan to the center for three months late last year, many experts said it would be her best shot at recovery.

“There’s no place that’s better with chemical dependency than Betty Ford,” Jeffrey C. Friedman, a substance abuse counselor at the Cottonwood Tucson center and a recovering heroin addict, said at the time.

While Ford was a pioneer, Pinsky said it is unlikely she could have forseen how much her work would be needed in the generation after the center opened its doors.

“I suspect that even Betty would not have foreseen that addiction would become the disorder of our time,” Pinsky wrote, “nor that the disease would steal millions of young lives nor that her name would become synonymous with the highest standard of treatment for a disease the prejudices against which she humbly demurred.”