Dr. Garrett O’Connor was born in Dublin, graduated as a physician from the Royal College of Surgeons, and later trained in psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. For more than forty years Garrett has lectured, consulted and led workshops on addiction and related topics in the United States and abroad, and has published scientific articles in a variety of peer-reviewed medical journals.
He was chief psychiatrist of the Betty Ford Center from 2002-2008, and the founding president of the Betty Ford Institute from 2008-2012. Currently he is director of the Elaine Breslow Addiction Institute and medical advisor for the Beit T’Shuvah Addiction Treatment Program.
Garrett has been in personal recovery from alcoholism since 1977, and is widely known for using his own life story as a tool for teaching about recovery to patients, medical students, and other audiences. He has been married to the actress/writer/director Fionnula Flanagan for 42 years. They have two sons, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, and two great-grandsons, all of whom are in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs (with the exception of the great-grandsons who are only 6 years and 1 year of age).