Betty Ford, First Lady of Recovery Advocacy Former First Lady Betty Ford put a courageous new face on recovery when, at age 60, she openly sought treatment for addiction to alcohol and prescription medications. Her candor created a national dialogue and lifted the shame surrounding addiction, unlocking the door to recovery, especially among women. In 1982, Betty Ford opened the door to recovery even wider when she co-founded the nonprofit Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, modeling the clinic after Hazelden. She became an outspoken advocate for treatment, raising awareness about the disease of addiction and the potential for recovery. Her courage and candor continue to be a source of inspiration for many. As one of the country's first prominent advocates for recovery, Betty Ford's legacy serves as the foundation of the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy.