Osbourne reveals how he was persuaded to check in as he pays tribute to treatment pioneer who died last week

Betty Ford

Pioneer: Former First Lady Bett Ford

Ozzy Osbourne has revealed he thought the Betty Ford Clinic was an exclusive drink and drugs den when he was persuaded to check in for treatment.

US President’s wife and addiction treatment pioneer Ford died at the age of 93 last week, after dedicating her life to helping people deal with the kind of drink and drug issues which seriously affected her own life.

Ozzy paid tribute to his 1984 stay at her clinic, telling the Sunday Mercury: “I phoned them and told them. ‘I’m coming in.’ The woman asked me, ‘What drugs are you doing right now?’

“I told her, ‘Booze and coke.’ She said, ‘I want you to keep doing them until you get here.’

“Well, I thought, ‘Fucking hell – this is going to be a great place!’ Sharon told me it was a club where they’d teach me to drink like a gentleman.

“I got there and the first thing I did was ask Betty where the bar was.”

Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, another celebrity patient of the California establishment, adds: “Betty took a risk and came forward to share a message of recovery in order to serve others.

“Her vision, passion and amazing heart led to the creation of the gold-standard of treatment facilities. She will be missed – but her work in recovery will live on.”

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood says he’s been sober for 16 months now, following his 2009 arrest after a street brawl with then-girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova.

Wood says: “My circle of friends has changed. You put aside friends who say, ‘Let’s go and get ripped.’ Kate Moss is a mate but I don’t see a lot of her these days.

“I started looking at the consequence of my actions. I’m enjoying being sober. The war is over – I’m not fighting or struggling.”

He’s just won another two awards for his Absolute Radio show.

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