Russell Brand: “I’d rather be a drug addict. This is when you know it’s a disease.”

Russell Brand

Here’s some photos of Russell Brand tooling around in Los Angeles over the past month or so. I especially like the photo of him outside yoga class while he’s talking to an older lady wearing a turban. There’ve been some whispers that she might be his new yoga instructor, which means that he may (or may not) have stopped attending classes with that sketchy Guru Singh, but that’s a whole other subject. Mostly with these pictures, I am affectionately observing how Russell constructs himself as a sartorial mess, and the only part that really bothers me is the barefoot-in-the-street thing. Gross.

Aside from his questionable attire, Russell is speaking out again on his experiences as an addict, and as always (especially during his testimony in front of Parliament), he’s quite eloquent and candid while doing so. No wonder Scientology wants him for Narconon, right? Not that he’d ever go there in a million years. But now Russell has filmed a new documentary for BBC Three, and his words are quite shocking for those who have not experienced the crushing grip of addiction, yet Russell’s admissions on the topic show that his struggle is very much a daily (even hourly) one:

Russell Brand

Russell Brand is the subject of an upcoming documentary for BBC Three, entitled “Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery.” In the tell-all special, Brand reveals that he feels jealous of his old self when watching footage of him taking heroin.

According to The Sun, the shocking footage — of Brand smoking smack in his 20s — will be featured in the BBC film, which depicts Brand’s highs and lows as he recalls his drug-addicted past.

“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,” he tells his friend Martino Sclavi as he watches the homemade video at the London’s Savoy Hotel. “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.”

In April, the comedian and actor testified before a parliamentary committee reviewing U.K. drug policy to call for more “compassionate” action toward drug addicts.

“By regarding addiction as an illness, by offering treatment instead of a more punitive approach, we can prevent people from committing crimes,” Brand told members of Parliament, before opening up about his own struggles with heroin addiction. “Personally, I was a criminal when I was a drug addict by virtue of my addiction and the ways that I had to acquire money to get drugs.”

According to The Guardian, Brand testified to advocate for treating drug addiction as a health and social welfare issue rather than as a criminal one. Despite cracking a few jokes, Brand was serious in his plea. “I think there needs to be love and compassion for everybody involved,” said Brand. “If people are committing criminal behavior, then it needs to be dealt with legally, but you need to offer them treatment.”

Brand, who has been sober for nearly a decade, attends AA meetings three times a week in order to keep his addiction in check.

“To me, the gravity is heroin, and then death. You know, to sleep,” he told Details magazine last May, “that incremental suicide of turning your life into a dream, to make being awake as similar to sleep as possible. Drowsily, lazily, dry-mouth your way through the day’s ceremonies, fumble your way back into the dew-bather you never really left, draped in brown, brown now all around, the haze!”

[From Huff Po]

When Rusty admits that — despite all of his success and his current clean bill of health — he’s still jealous while watching his old self getting high while sitting in a decrepit old flat, that really puts an exclamation mark on it. Also, it’s easy to realize just how uncomfortable and disgusted he must have felt when Katy Perry giggled about being drunk onstage at an MTV awards show. And I’m not even bashing Katy for that anymore because obviously, they were from two different worlds and at very different phases in their lives. It just goes to show how Russell really needed to get out of that relationship for several reasons, not the least of which would be the temptation of giving in and snorting a line of coke with his “partying” wife.

Meanwhile, Russell has a brand new tattoo (and you can see a photo here), which reads “Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.” This is, of course, a take on the Catholic Prayer of Saint Francis, but it’s also a passage found in the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps book. Oddly enough, Russell’s tattoo includes a tiny cross, but I don’t think this is a case of him actually endorsing Christianity in any way. It’s confusing because of the cross imagery, but I think Rusty has a more holistic view of God and wraps his dieties into one package. In other words, he’s not going to start running around preaching to people about getting “saved.” This is an AA thing.

Russell Brand

Russell Brand

Russell Brand

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN


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Russell Brand: “I’d rather be a drug addict. This is when you know it’s a disease.”