Kelly Osbourne says being caught buying heroin at 19 led to first rehab stint

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·4 min read

Kelly Osbourne, sober again after relapsing in April, details her drug and alcohol addiction journey on Wednesday's Red Table Talk.

The TV personality, 36, spoke to Jada Pinkett Smith and company on Facebook Watch about breaking her nearly four years of sobriety. She also talked about how it started, at age 13, and escalated to heroin.

In April, she was sitting by a pool waiting for someone to join her for a business meeting. She spotted a woman and her husband having champagne and thought, "I can do that too. The next day I had two glasses. The day after that, it was bottles." 

She said, "It happened like that," snapping her fingers. And once it started, it didn't stop. "Couldn't even hold back on it," admitted Osbourne, who described herself as a "closet drinker" who doesn't "like to drink in front of anybody," noting that can make her addiction especially "dark."

Being "s***faced" on the couch eating pizza as her boyfriend, Erik Bragg, worked out was a defining moment in her relapse. She said it wasn't anything he said, but a "disappointed" look he gave her that set her straight again. After that, she shared her relapse publicly on social media — before even telling her family, thinking it would help her be accountable. She immediately started outpatient treatment and therapy, and after going through the "rough" time, is now in a better place.

Osbourne said alcohol was always present in her life growing up because "I came from an alcoholic family," referring to dad Ozzy Osbourne. (The Black Sabbath rock star, who is addicted to drugs and alcohol, has been sober for seven years.) She called Ozzy "probably the heaviest drinker I've seen in my life."

However, her troubles started at 13 after moving to L.A. from England and being different from those around her and dealing with insecurity. She noted, "I was so foreign" and "very English" to the point where "people didn't understand what I was saying." Not helping was being surrounded by really rich kids, saying she felt like she woke up and was "in the movie Clueless," and didn't "fit in anywhere."

(Photo: Jordan Fisher / Red Table Talk)
Kelly Osbourne sits down with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Norris on Wednesday's Red Table Talk. (Photo: Jordan Fisher / Red Table Talk)

That year, she was really sick with tonsillitis which necessitated surgery. She was prescribed the opioid pain reliever Vicodin and that really set off the life-long addiction.

"That was all I needed," she said of the drug. "I went from having every voice in my head being like: 'You're fat! You're ugly! You're not good enough! No one likes you!' ... All of a sudden, every single voice was silenced. And it felt like life gave me a hug."

She said, "Very quickly it went from Vicodin to Percocet," another opiate. And then, "Percocet to heroin."

Osbourne said at 19 she was "caught buying" heroin, which she switched to because it was cheaper, and the next day mom Sharon Osbourne put her in rehab. She didn't take it seriously, she admitted, calling it "vacation without a bar," and said she left with the intention to change nothing about her life. She's been going "in and out of those places" ever since. (In her 2017 memoir, she said she'd been to rehab seven times.)

Osbourne said her addiction troubles held up her personal development, sharing that she wishes she was a mother by now, but at the same time knowing she'd be "no kind of mother" amid her issues. She loves spending time with brother Jack Osbourne's three daughters and says he's one of her confidantes when it comes to sobriety as he has 18 years under his belt.

Osbourne said she has such dependency that she can become "addicted to anything," like food, which she struggled with. (She's lost 85 pounds since she had gastric sleeve surgery last year.) But alcohol is what has loomed largest, calling it her "drug of choice... I love it. I don't love it because of the way it makes me feel. I like that it makes me not feel. I want to be numb to everything."

Now on a sober journey again, leaning in the 12 Step program and undergoing daily therapy, Osbourne admits, "It's a battle for me every single day. It's never, ever going to get easy."

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