Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Judy Garland Festival Features Lecture On Drug Abuse

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – For the last 31 years, Judy Garland’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, has held a Judy Garland Festival to honor its most famous resident.

This year’s event begins Thursday (June 22) and, as in years past, festivalgoers will be able to meet the surviving Munchkins as well as Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft.

But this year, they’re adding something new to the party: A lecture by registered nurse Pauline Zimmerman on Garland’s chemical dependency.

Zimmerman says Garland deserves recognition as a “dedicated, talented artist” who, sadly, was addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates from a young age, thanks to studio heads who needed her to work long hours and to lose weight.

Not only was there little information about the addictive properties of pills, Zimmerman says Garland was especially susceptible to because teenagers are prime targets for chemical dependency.

Zimmerman realizes her lecture may not correspond with the otherwise festive atmosphere of the Judy Garland Festival, but hopes it helps people realize how many obstacles she overcame, “even though she was literally being fed these pills.”

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