PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Betty Ford was known for her candidness on issues like pre-marital sex, abortion, and equal rights. But her legacy includes co-founding the California substance abuse center that bears her name. It is a legacy that stretches across the country to south Florida. The people that run local addiction recovery centers, believe their facilities would not exist as they do today without the very public challenges of Ford.
"I think her memory will live on far past her years," said Blayre Farkas, the Director of Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches. Farkas believes that Ford's candidness in dealing with alcohol abuse changed the face of addiction. "People thought the drunk was just the skid row drunk. Nobody understood that it affects every walk of life," she said.
Many of the clients that West Palm Beach lawyer Grey Tesh defends come to him after making what he said are poor choices while under the influence. Tesh said in Ford's life - and even her death - it becomes easier for those battling addiction to find help. "Instead of sticking a bandaid over the problem, it goes to the root cause of the problem and hopefully they won't be back," said Tesh.
Betty Ford's family has announced that there will be two funerals for the former First Lady. The first on Tuesday in Palm Desert, California close to where she passed away on Friday. The second service will be held on Thursday in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Ford grew up.
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