April 25, 2012

Russell Brand calls for more compassion to deal with addiction

Posted Tuesday, April 24

Comedian Russell Brand addressed the British government Tuesday saying it needs to have more compassion when addressing the country’s issues with the disease of drug addiction.

Brand spoke before the government officials on his views of drug policies and also weaved it into his own struggles with drug addiction. According to Reuters, the British House of Commons Home Affairs Committee is currently looking at the government’s drug policy, existing sanctions and may also decriminalize some substances.

Brand, who is a former heroin addict and is now in recovery, told the group that a more pragmatic approach to drug addiction issues needs to be taken and that peoples’ suffering needs to be understood and compassion returned.

“The status of a drug is irrelevant to a drug addict. If you're a drug addict, you're getting drugs. That's it. So in way, it's probably best to make it simple,” he said, according to Reuters, adding that he first became addicted to drugs because he was “sad, lonely, unhappy” and “detached.”

The comedian called for more awareness and research into abstinence-based recovery, which he underwent to treat his addiction. He says there is too much confusion and ignorance in the public regarding addiction. This ignorance usually results in the addict being treated as a nuisance on society because they may engage in criminal activity, he explained.

“It wasn't until I had access to abstinence-based recovery that I was able to change my behavior and significantly reduce, all but obliterate my criminal activity, apart from the occasional skirmish,” Brand said.

Click here to read the full article on Reuters.

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