06 Jul Russell Brand Fights for Drug Addiction Recovery
Russell Brand is a comedian and an actor. He has worked on films such as Arthur, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek and more. Currently, he is taking a stance with the UK Parliament on their policy towards possession charges. He relates his experience with addiction and getting charged with possession, and speaks to the fact that the criminal system may be counter productive towards the addict. He believes that addicts and alcoholics should be seen from a medical approach when dealing with criminal offenses. He believes alcoholism and drug addiction are a disease and that proper rehabilitation is more effective than imprisonment.
Perhaps he suggests that going back into an environment like a prison with drugs and the same gang related mindset drives the addict and alcoholic to deeper self-destruction and greater long-term costs to society. He argues that the money spent on prison sentences should be reallocated towards rehabilitation centers and medical options.
He supports his stance from his experience with heroin addiction. He is a public figure and is using his notoriety to gain momentum for his passion for social change. This may hurt him as much as it helps; the demographic he’s approaching may only see the comedian and not much of the principle behind the matter. The issues he is bringing up in the UK are equally controversial in the U.S. for it is a common belief that addiction is a more of a self-will problem than it is a medical one. He provided a document, which pulls evidence from Australia, the Czech Republic and Portugal that their common health problems linked to drugs are significantly reduced when addicts and alcoholics are given medical support and advice as opposed to legal prosecution.
Nonetheless, he is standing for something he believes in and is using his experience and fame to help support the cause. Right now he is working with other celebrities in getting petitions signed so that the UK Parliament will bring the discussion of possessions charges to the table. I am really curious to see what happens as a result of his support. His stance is a part of global action to bring greater awareness, intelligence and result driven programs to the “war on drugs.” From what began as one person’s experience of strength and hope has now converted into thousands of signatures on petitions and planned protest to help battle the personal and societal costs of addiction. No matter what a person’s beliefs are, his personal story of emerging from the hell of addiction to being someone who is leading the charge for an intelligent war on drugs is quite impressive, and a story with a lot of courage behind it. He’s come a long way from drug possession and addiction himself.
Featured image from http://www.bbc.co.uk