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Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addict"

By source, Aug 5, 2012 | | |
  1. source
    Russell Brand admits that he still struggles to control his craving for heroin in an upcoming BBC3 documentary called Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery. The Sun have reported that the doc will include pretty shocking footage of the comic smoking heroin when he was in his 20s. He's seen preparing a wrap, leaning over the heated foil to smoke it before leaning back against the wall and staring dead-eyed at the camera.
    The programme shows how Russell is watching the clip in the London Savoy Hotel with his friend Martino Sclavi.
    He tells Martino that he's "a proper little junkie," before saying, "This is when you know it's a disease. It doesn't matter that I was sat in that flat in Hackney and now I'm in the Savoy. I'm jealous of me then.
    "It doesn't make a difference to me. The money, the fame, the power, the sex, the women - none of it. I'd rather be a drug addict."
    Brand has been clean for ten years and has always been open and candid about how hard he finds it to keep away from drugs - especially working in the entertainment industry.
    He's also been adamant that addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. He spoke passionately on the subject when Amy Winehouse died.
    He goes onto say in the documentary, "The consequences of my actions affected so many people.
    "Heroin is a greedy drug. First it'll take your money. Then it'll take your friends, your family, your car, your house.
    "Then it's going to take bits of your body. In the end I used to be scoring with people that had eyes missing, limbs missing.
    "You'll take it until it takes your life. It'll take everything until the last thing and you'll gladly give it that rather than give up drugs.
    "When you are a drug addict, the idea of not taking drugs is inconceivable.
    "This was the beginning of a life-long journey of doing things differently."
    In the programme he goes back to visit the Focus 12 Centre in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where he spent 12 weeks getting clean in 2002.
    We reckon speaking so honestly and openly about addiction is a massively brave thing for Russell to do. We're very impressed and will definitely be watching the documentary when it's screened later this month.

    Report from The Mirror 4th August 2012.
    Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery is due to be screened on BBC3 on 16th August 12.


  1. KitKat84
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    Then why isn't he a drug addict if that is what he wants to be??
  2. source
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    I think you are drastically missing the whole point of this article and about heroin addiction as a whole. Don't you think that with all he earns if he really wanted to go back to being an addict he would have done?
    His statement just proves how much heroin affects people and their lives even after they become clean.
    Life without heroin or the 'effects of' is a massive struggle for most ex-addicts, I speak from experience here when I say that once an addict has become clean, thats only the start of it.
    Someone once said that the life of an addict is about two things, being on drugs, or suffering the pain of staying off them; and I believe this to be true.

    Some people might not like Mr Brand because of his 'in your face' honestness but there is a lot of truth in his ramblings.
  3. KitKat84
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    I'm sure one do neuroscience will be closer to unlocking and changing the addicts brain pattern
  4. KitKat84
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    arrrhh I can't edit. Should say *one day*...
  5. una_cavaletta
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    I admire how Russell's always been totally upfront about his drug use/abuse. The fact that he can find humour in not so funny situations is part of his talent. So to continue to be honest about still not feeling *over* heroin just shows how powerful a hold it had over him.

    (random aside: I know he probably didn't mean it but I wish it wasn't the case that people see Hackney and automatically think drugs and crime, but that's off-topic).
  6. Rob Cypher
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    Not to quibble here...but the first line under the Mirror's headline says he craves "crack", but the only thing he talks about being addicted to in the article is heroin. Was he doing both at the same time (definitely a possibility, I grant you) or does the Mirror just use drug terms interchangeably (also a possibility, given how I've seen them refer to 5-IT as being "the new MXE")?
  7. Qualityplant
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    He still wants to take smack because he has definied himself by NOT taking it. That means Heroin is always in his mind, not taking it has become a defining part of his personality.

    I used to take Heroin, I used to be addicted to it, and after I got clean I still took it occassionally and carefully. I wanted to prove to myself that nothing could ever have that much power over me...

    Eventually I got bored of Heroin... I found that Buddhism and yoga filled the gap much better than Heroin ever could. Now I barely think about it anymore and I'm certainly not jealous of the old me.

    I'm fed up of the cliched story of Heroin will take this and that until you're dead. Certainly that is a common path but there are thousands of people who take it recreationally FUCK people take it in hospitals every day, except there, it's called Diamorphine. It's the same thing.

    It's an over-simplistic discourse because the media cannot be bothered to portray the complexities of people's relationship to a drug and also because they assume their audience is too stupid to take in such facts.

    But then what can you expect from the BBC's 'Youth' channel?

    Watching a documentary made by BBC3 is like watching someone write some facts on a piece of paper, eat it and vomit it up in your face.
  8. MightyBlaze
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    Interesting take on life lol
  9. enquirewithin
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    This is probably a poor article but every time I see Russell Brand I change channels. He is such an irritating personality. Is he just trying to shock to get viewers and attention? I can't fathom why people watch him anyway.
  10. Bad Rabbits
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    I very much suspect the latter. I'm gobsmacked at what passes for journalism these days...

    Should be an interesting documentary though, haven't seen much from the BBC recently in this department.
  11. MightyBlaze
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    Hopefully the recovery goes well.
  12. source
  13. source
    Russell Brand recalls drug hell in new documentary Addiction To Recovery

    [imgl=white]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=27670&stc=1&d=1345146111[/imgl]Ten years on from Russell Brand’s well documented battle with drink and drugs the comedian hopes his new hard-hitting documentary From Addiction To Recovery can ignite the debate on the best form of treatment for substance abuse.

    Back in 2002 the Essex-born stand-up's life was unravelling around him before his agent John Noel rail-roaded him into attending a Suffolk rehabilitation centre where he finally kicked the habit for good.

    'Ten years ago, I couldn’t get enough of drugs - cannabis, booze, speed, acid, coke, crack, smack. I took drugs every single day,' he explains in his new documentary.

    'I remember being told that in six months I would end up dead, in prison or a lunatic asylum.'
    Russell Brand, Addiction to Recovery, BBC 3 A 27-year-old Russell Brand before he managed to kick his drugs habit (Picture: BBC)

    Brand recalls his own personal experiences hooked on Class A drugs in a the new BBC3 exploration into the ‘condition of addiction’ which, he believes, should be treated as a health matter rather than a criminal or judicial one.

    The reformed addict hopes to raise awareness about abstinence-based drug recovery, an approach which helped him finally kick his habit a decade ago.

    ‘What I want is that if someone has a problem with drugs, to know there’s a solution,’ the 37-year-old star revealed in an interview with Metro.

    He added: 'I made this documentary because I want as many people as possible to have information about abstinence-based recovery.

    'In my opinion the best way to deal with alcoholism or drug addiction is to, one day at a time, not drink or use drugs.

    'This is what has worked for me and worked for countless other people.'

    ‘Addicts don’t care if it's legal or illegal; they’re going to use it anyway.

    ‘What I care about is getting people into treatment; give them a chance to have access to abstinence based recovery instead of giving methadone to heroin addicts.’

    Sitting down for lunch in London’s plush five star Savoy hotel, the Hollywood actor is almost unrecognisable from the dead-eyed addict seen smoking heroin on the floor a flat in Hackney in footage from the documentary.

    The Arthur star slowly managed to turn his life around after getting free from drugs but admits he wishes his close friend, late singer Amy Winehouse could have done the same.

    'I feel guilty because I am the alcoholic junkie who got clean and I wasn't able to do anything,' he tells her father Mitch in the BBC3 film.

    Her death spurred the star's exploration into addiction and how it's treated in the UK, with Brand speaking to various experts and addicts on his journey.

    It finishes with the Brand sharing his experience and beliefs on the best form of drug treatment at the Home Affairs Select Committee.

    ‘It’s knowing that drink and drugs aren’t going to make me any better,' he says about his own continuing battle with booze and drugs.

    'They’re not going to help. I just wake up the next day with the same problem, and some.'

    Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery, airs tonight at 9pm on BBC3
  14. Hey :-)
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    I watched the program .

    Mr Russell Brand used the word 'disease' a number of times . This reminded me of the 12 steps approach to recovery. I don't know if that was just coincidence or edited that way for a desired effect . Regardless , his view on total abstinence rather than a methadone treatment was clearly put across . At the same time , a number of other perspectives and ideas were also featured .

    I think it was fitting to include details of Amy Winehouse in the program . Like Russell Brand said , ''her death was very sad , but it doesn't have to be pointless'' . I found watching the parts featuring Amy very sad too .

    Prof. Nutt was featured and i found this part very interesting . Prof. Nutt explained the role of the amygdala and the dopamine reward system in addiction , plus he explained something on impulsiveness which i hadn't thought of before .

    The part of the documentary concerning 'RAP' , a group type therapy for prisoners , was interesting in that apparently about half who left prison remained clean . It didn't say for how long though .

    I felt the program didn't really make much of a distinction between various drugs and their possible various potentials for addiction . The program seemed to be focusing on heroin , crack and alcohol . I'm not sure if some viewers will find themselves thinking of all drugs being equally addictive .

    The part of the program where Russell Brand interviewed the female doctor was quite telling in that although i could understand the point she was trying to make , ie that methadone was allowing recovering addicts to deal with other issues , her face at the end of the interview seemed so full of sadness . I think she felt a deep compassion for her patients but was faced with the reality that she wasn't able to make things right .

    I thought it was honest and quite brave of Russell Brand to say that he didn't know if he would ever use drugs again . I felt though , that he might . I cannot explain why for sure . Maybe it was because i got a sense of him almost reinforcing some belief , by the passion with which he came across while talking about addiction . I think i sensed a fear .. although i have to admit , i don't know this man , and therefore i don't know his personality . Maybe he is just quite intense naturally . I found myself really hoping that he would be alright in the long term .

    The lady called Karen , who discharged herself at three weeks into her detox seemed so spiritually down to me . It was sad to watch her . It was almost as if she had lost site of something really vital . I found myself wondering if they would stay in touch , especially after the program when it was clear she hadn't continued with the detox . I think with more time , maybe Russell Brand would be able to help her . I had a feeling that he could eventually help her find what she seemed to have lost sight of , although the idea that he would also find something of himself through helping her also crossed my mind .

    Finally , what i found had the biggest impact , was when Russell Brand was talking with Karen before her detox , outdoors , possibly in a park . He said , about his take on the underlying issues ... ''we don't deserve'' .

    I'm glad i got to see this program .
  15. Cash.Nexus
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    Wish he would stick to poncing about doing 'light entertainment' and leave the serious issues alone.

    I had some hopes for this program; should have known better, considering Brand's personality.

    This 'personality' seems to consist of passive-aggressive bullying techniques (intimidating subjects by getting in their space, using childish deprecating humour to retain control, 'helpfully' chastising, etc.)

    Brand's pitch seems to be that since he is (currently) abstinent, others should be too. Now he's telling the public and parliament that addicts should be taken off methadone for their own good. I'm sure the government is in full agreement...for one thing these addicts could then be declared cured and 'fit to seek work' (i.e. their benefits can be cut.)

    No-one thinks methadone is ideal, but so what if users top-up if they want to? Should be up to them.

    The woman he bullied into rehab declared at the outset that she didn't want to quit. But she was vulnerable, Brand relatively powerful, so he got his way and she had her time wasted for the sake of his program. Though her failure disproves his theory that pushing rehabilitation and abstinence works better than maintenance.

    It's obvious Brand never had a proper habit...chased smack for a few years (while earning loads) then his boss made him chuck it. Now he reckons he's been through the wars and got the answers.... What a tiresome, creepy cock-end.
  16. source
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    I see what you are saying here about Brand's background, but addiction is still addiction, whether you had the money to buy the gear or had to steal, the reasons why and the end results are still the same. I do find 'chasing smack for a few years' to be a proper habit, but then I used to IV my gear so yeah, chasing it seems pretty unexciting in comparison.

    And yes, why is it that most ex-addicts out of 12 step rehabs seem to HATE MMT and methadone in general? God, I wouldn't say that its the best thing in the world but it 'saved me' from wasting dosh I didn't have on street smack I didn't want.
    After a year of the stuff I decided I didn't want it in my life anymore - sure it would have been better and a LOT easier to just jump off from smack a year ago but... SERIOUSLY... the success rate of that compared to methadone??!! The reason why I opted for a script in the first place was because I couldn't take it any longer, the constant WDs and need to score before I strolled into work 3hrs late... if I could have stood strong and got through those WDs I would have, but I couldn't.

    Might be my personal experience/opinion here but even though rehab centres make addicts stronger and much more independant, they also send them out into the world with an "I'm better than you lot" attitude most of the time which kinda blows.

    Regardless of what people think of Mr Brand, I really enjoyed the programme and think it had some very valid points. Would be interesting to find out what a non-drug user thought of it though.....
  17. Cash.Nexus
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    Everyone is very sad about Amy, but how could her death be made not "pointless?" Platitudinous bollocks.

    Prof. Nutt should have a whole program to himself. Him and the likes of the RAPt people are actually doing constructive work.

    Brand is a showbiz hustler, a 'character' whose shtick is to be controversial...his supposed bravery and honesty should be seen in this context. A program like this would not be made without types like him, so at least it generates debate. But I doubt this program will have a positive impact on public opinion or policy, IMO.
  18. enquirewithin
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    I haven't seen it yet, but Professor Nutt is well worth listening to. Brand is an awful TV personality whose lack of talent is woeful. is it on Youtube yet? Amy Winehouse's death was indeed utterly pointless and simply sad.
  19. source
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    You can still watch it on BBC iPlayer if you haven't already, its only on the site for 3 more days though.

    Link to BBC video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00wq21g
  20. mk28v
    Re: Russell Brand: "The money, fame, power means nothing - I'd rather be a drug addic

    Thanks for summing up my thoughts exactly. His behaviour with that poor GP who has no doubt saved many, many lives was fucking appalling.

    The sad bit is that his experience of missing 'the scene' and addiction in general rang very true for me. I have not acquired riches or fame since escaping but have a good job, great kids, a nice house & car etc. but the draw never leaves me.

    In my case what worked for me has been a long term maintenance 'scrip for 2mg buprenorphine. It scratches the itch, I know if I do use the gear is nerfed by the bupe, and I have been on it so long it doesn't affect my function. My occupational health are far more interested in my BP meds than my drug history and my GP will keep prescribing it till I decide otherwise.

    I am genuinely glad that he found something that has worked for him, but that's all it is. It is a sad indictment of our government that they pick a spoiled little shit like Brand to influence national policy, when there are so many others, including 'celebrities', who know so much more than he ever will.

    I never thought I would agree with Peter Hitchens but he was right to question why Brand was given such a platform on the supposedly neutral beeb when he was pushing such a biased agenda.
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