This week, television personality Kelly Osbourne checked into a drug and alcohol treatment facility in Austin, Texas. A source close to the 36-year-old was quoted saying that her mother’s controversial exit from The Talk and her father’s Parkinson’s disease diagnosis have both had a massive impact on Osbourne. Additionally, it was reported last week that she had broken up with her boyfriend of one year. These events may have led the reality TV star to relapse adding to her long history with addiction and attempts at rehab.
The Osbourne’s History With Addiction
Kelly Osbourne is the daughter of “The Godfather of Metal,” Ozzy, and music manager and television personality, Sharon. Ozzy rose to fame in the 1970s as the lead singer of the English heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. After his own struggles with substance use, Ozzy was fired from the band in 1979. Sharon encouraged Ozzy to embark on what would become a very successful solo career that was also riddled with substance use. In fact, Ozzy checked into a rehab facility just 1 day after Kelly was born. This February, Ozzy told Variety that he has been sober for about 7 years.
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At age 13, Kelly was given liquid Vicodin, a prescription Opioid, when she got her tonsils out. In a 2009 interview with People, Kelly recalled that the painkiller made her feel more confident and likable. She then began using prescription drugs, like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium to cope with feelings of anxiety and depression.
In 2002, the family moved to Los Angeles and began filming an MTV reality series called The Osbournes. Around this time, Kelly began using drugs to self-medicate with whatever substances she could get her hands on in order to not feel like herself. She has said that prescription drugs, like Vicodin, provided temporary relief from the pressures of being in the public eye, such as the media’s comments on her weight. In 2003, Kelly’s brother Jack sought treatment for an addiction to OxyContin; he has been sober ever since.
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Kelly Osbourne’s Attempts At Sobriety
When Sharon and Ozzy caught Kelly with prescription drugs at age 19, she went to rehab for the first time at a facility in Malibu. Ultimately, this treatment was unsuccessful which Kelly has said is because she felt too comfortable. One year later, she returned to rehab before moving back to London for 3 years. Although not sober, Kelly has described having some good months and some bad months during this time.
In 2008, Kelly moved back to LA to film another reality show with her family. Being back in the place where her addiction had been at its worst caused Kelly to relapse. She felt that drugs in LA were too accessible. Kelly recalled in the same 2009 People interview that more than once she threw herself down a flight of stairs in an attempt to get a prescription.
Because of this 2008 relapse, Kelly’s friends and family demanded that she seek treatment for her addiction. This time during her 30 day treatment program, Kelly learned other ways to cope with her anxiety such as letting others know when she felt anxious and taking breaks. The Osbournes also participated in family therapy as part of this program.
Despite this attempt at treatment, Kelly continued to struggle with substance use which led to more time spent in rehab and one entrance into a mental hospital. Kelly’s longest period of sobriety came after spending time in a sober living facility in 2017. She remained substance free until spring of this year. In April 2021, Kelly took to instagram to share that after 4 years of sobriety, she had relapsed.
“I am an addict and had thought that I had enough time under my belt and I could drink like a normal person, and it turns out I cannot and I will never be normal,” Osbourne said on Instagram. She hoped that in sharing what she was going through rather than suffering in silence, she could help others going through the same thing.
For those who struggle with a substance use disorder (SUD), relapsing, like Kelly Osbourne has, is not an uncommon part of the treatment process. Studies have estimated that 40 to 60% of those treated for an addiction will relapse within the first year of completing treatment. Because addiction is a chronic disorder, there is no true cure. With treatment, those with an addiction can manage their drug use and regain control of their lives. Even post-treatment, those with a SUD are considered to be in recovery.
Relapse can occur to any person in recovery no matter the amount of years they have been sober. Certain people, situations, and environments can trigger individuals who struggle with substance use to relapse. This does not mean that treatment has failed but instead indicates that the individual who has relapsed should speak with their doctor to resume treatment and inquire if modifications or new approaches should be attempted.
After completing treatment, there are several actions that those with a SUD can do to lower the chance of triggering a relapse. It is suggested that individuals participate in a form of continuing care, such as a 12-step program or therapy. Surrounding oneself with other positive, sober people can also help to create an environment with less relapse triggers. Additionally, remembering the new coping skills learned in treatment is imperative to staying sober after treatment. Most importantly, those in recovery should reach out for help if they feel as if they are going to relapse.
When Kelly relapsed in April, she spoke on Instagram in an effort to be truthful with her fans. She shared an ideology that many people with a SUD live by. She said, “I just want to let you know that I’m sober today and I’m going to be sober tomorrow. But I’ve truly learned it is just one day at a time.”
Emily Murray is a Digital Content Writer at Addiction Center. She earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with Behavioral/Social Sciences and Art concentrations along with a Journalism minor from the University of Central Florida. Dedicated to creativity and conciseness, Emily hopes her words can be of service to those affected by addiction.
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