Leif Garrett in Rehab for Heroin Addiction

Jan. 31, 2006 — -- Former 1970s teen idol Leif Garrett is starting his first full day in a drug rehab center to undergo treatment for heroin addiction.

"Even though it wasn't court ordered, I've decided that I think the best way to start out the program and get a good foundation … is to check in for 30 days," Garrett told "Good Morning America." "I'm grateful for the opportunity to get cleaned up."

Garrett, 44, agreed on Friday to enter a strict drug-diversion program for violating probation in a cocaine case. He also faces charges of felony possession of heroin.

The diversion program requires frequent testing and daily counseling for at least a year, but Garrett said the inpatient rehab treatment was his choice.

"I think you have to be ready to quit within yourself," Garrett said. "If you're not, it doesn't matter what rehab you go to."

On Wednesday, Garrett pleaded not guilty to felony possession of heroin stemming from a Dec. 14 arrest in Los Angeles.

"It was heroin and not that much, but enough," Garrett said. "A little bit is too much and a whole lot is more than enough."

Garrett said he had been trying to quit heroin even before his arrest.

"You plan on taking control as much as possible; it's just something that unfortunately controls you in the long run," Garrett said. "It was the monkey on my back. Only I've come to realize it wasn't just a monkey, it was more like a gorilla."

Garrett started acting when he was 5 years old and entered the music world as a teen. At 16, he topped the charts with the hit, "I Was Made for Dancing" and his version of "Surfin USA."

Around the same time, Garrett developed a taste for drugs and alcohol. In 1979, he was driving drunk and caused an accident that permanently paralyzed a friend.

Over the last decade, Garrett has continued with his music career but has failed to stay sober. Garrett has been arrested three times for heroin possession in recent years. He was on probation at the time of his most recent arrest.

Garrett's mother, Carolyn Stellar, takes responsibility for some of her son's troubles.

"We have to know and we must follow our children, seek out information any way we can and learn about the problems so we can stop it then and do the tough love then, not wait until the end," Stellar said. "We have to start at the beginning."

Stellar said she was not the only person responsible for her son's fall.

"I'd like to see all those others that were in his life and controlled his life and were very damaging in his life stand up and apologize to him," Stellar said. "I think that would help in the healing."

Stellar thought Danny Bonaduce owed her an apology for a comment he made on "Good Morning America" on Jan. 20. Bonaduce suggested Garrett's most recent mug shot would haunt Garrett for the rest of his life.

"I think that was a terrible remark," Stellar said. "That [mug shot] is a heroin child. That is dead. That person is dead. My son is back. Leif is back. There's a big difference."

Garrett said in a year he hoped to see a different person when he looked in the mirror.

"I just want the clarity back," Garrett said. "I just want to look in the mirror and see some bright eyes. I'm feeling very paternal. I'm looking forward to settling down and having kids."

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