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Mackenzie Phillips on playing a drug addict on ‘Orange Is the New Black’

Mackenzie Phillips opened up about playing a drug addict in “Orange Is the New Black.”

(JoJo Whilden/Netflix)

Actress Mackenzie Phillips opened up about what it was like to play an addict in “Orange Is the New Black” as someone who has suffered from real-life substance abuse.

Phillips, 58, plays Barbara “Barb” Denning in the sixth season of the popular Netflix series. In the show, Barb and her sister Carol were behind bars for the murder of their sister. Barb develops a serious drug addiction in the prison, but is clean, thanks to the help of another prisoner who previously had a substance abuse problem.

Phillips told People what it was like playing a drug addict in the show.

“When I found out that [character] was somebody who struggled with a serious using problem, I was even more excited about it, because — spoiler alert — but the Barb is down to earth and Nikki [another detainee] help Barb get sober,” Phillips said.

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The “American Graffiti” star explained that the detainees did not have access to the care she had when she suffered from an alcohol abuse problem, but found it great to show what they have done with other resources.

“That was so cool to see. I have access to the best behavioral care for my own addiction over the years, but someone who is in prison and has not the resources,” Phillips said.

“So, the real recovery comes through other channels than only the stopping of the use, so there is a little bit more,” she concluded.

Phillips said the Variety of one particular scene, she found traumatic.

“There is a scene where I had to snort fake drugs. It was in a small bag and they wanted me to deposit into my hand,” Phillips recalled. “And I was like, ‘no, no, no. For me a straw and cut it in a angle.’ I went back to my ” This is how it’s done, so this is how we are going to do.’ And the first time I actually did snort it — it was vitamin B or something terrible, God, it was disgusting, while we are still rolling.”

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The actress said that she was grateful that she not only his life that way.”

Phillips, who is an addiction specialist, spoke to Fox News in 2017, about her journey to sobriety and the first step of getting help.

“To ask for help. It is the most valuable, and that is the hardest, because it means that we give our coping mechanism, drugs and alcohol. If we ask for help means change and change is scary,” she said.

Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her via @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.

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