Addiction experts often say that the disease runs in the families who struggle with substance abuse, and Jack and Ozzy Osbourne are sharing their story about their battle with drugs and alcohol. In a new interview with Variety, Jack admits that having a dad who was a rock star definitely influenced his choices, and while he’s been sober for 17 years now, it was a slippery slope when he was in the midst of his own addiction struggles.
At the beginning of his experimentation with drugs and alcohol, it seemed pretty glamorous to Jack, who started using in his early teens. “I guess I didn’t want to be the downside of [addiction]. I wanted to be the upside of it, because the upside of it, when things were great, it seemed like a lot of fun,” he revealed to the publication. “I wanted the excitement of crazy adventures inebriated.”
The fun side of being intoxicated didn’t last long, though. Jack admitted that he fell into a deep depression; with plenty of money from doing MTV’s The Osbournes and also coping with his mother Sharon’s colon cancer diagnosis, he couldn’t balance using drugs and alcohol and maintaining a normal life. “But in these times, I would dip in and be like, ‘Things aren’t great.’ And then I’d pull back — ‘Oh, things are OK. So it was this dance,” Jack said about the tipping point of his despair. “Eventually, my mom received a phone call from a friend who was like, ‘This is bad.'”
It might be easy to blame Jack’s fame for his addiction, but he seems to think rehab was always in the cards for him — whether he was on a reality show or not. “I think it was just a matter of time. I think it just sped things up to the inevitable. Whether I’d never touched a drink until the age of 50, I still think the end result would have been the same,” he shared.
Jack also revealed the difficulty of trying to get sober in the public eye: “We’re on The Osbournes in the middle of whatever season we were doing and I decided to go into treatment, and it becomes this very public thing at that point,” he told Variety. “And I just found it incredibly invasive and, morally, really inappropriate. I was 17 years old.”
Now, with nearly two decades of sobriety under his belt, he’s been able to see his children with ex-wife Lisa Stelly — daughters, Pearl, 8, and Minnie, 3, and son Andy, 5 — through a different lens than his dad. Ozzy, who is also now sober, spent much of Jack’s life in and out of rehab or out on tour away from his family. So for Jack, he’s grateful that he’s been able to put his demons to rest — even if it’s a hard road every single day.
“The blessing and the curse, I think with sobriety, is that time goes by really quickly, in a very strange way,” he summed up. “It feels like a flash, 17 years, because you’re counting time.”
Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction.