Mackenzie Phillips choked up on Thursday as she discussed the lack of available recovery options for drug addicts in America today.
"We need to shake this up. We need to change this," she told host Ricky Camilleri as part of HuffPost Live's week-long series on drug addiction. "Our people are dying. My people are dying, and I certainly don't mean celebrity addicts. I mean my people -- I mean addicts and alcoholics are dying ... on the street because we can't get beds. We can't get treatment."
Phillips, a former actress most famously known for her role in "American Graffiti," apologized for getting "very emotional," and expressed regret for the stigma still plaguing drug addicts today.
"People think it's a moral issue," she said. "People don't understand. People don't understand -- Google, people! Read about the brain science of addiction. Understand that the brain gets hijacked."
With two nearly-fatal drug overdoses on her record, Phillips has spent ample time in rehabilitation facilities. She recognizes that not enough addicts have had this same luxury.
"I woke up with a needle in my arm so many times, but the truth is, I woke up. Some people don't," she said. "How do we change that? Why does that happen? I don't know, but I am beholden to put a face on the addict."
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation on addiction with Mackenzie Phillips below.