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Russell Brand Provides Insights into Addiction


UK comedian Russell Brand has recently been part of a BBC programme where he discusses his experiences and views on addiction. He is remarkably candid in these interviews, and he has hopefully opened the eyes of more people as to what addiction is really all about. There are still many people in society who believe that addicts are just bad people, or that they have no willpower, but Russell Brand provides great insights into why none of this is true. He challenges people to take a closer look at the reality of addiction and why misunderstandings about the condition can be the cause of addiction suffering.

The Reality of Addiction According to Russell Brand

During his interview, Russell Brand not only shared his own personal experiences, but he also talked about close friends who are still dealing with this problem. He mentions one friend who is caught in the revolving door syndrome where they keep on getting sober only to soon relapse back to addiction. He explains how people can become fully determined to quit, but how they can then somehow forget how important this is to them and slip back into the denial of addiction. The reason for why people relapse is that they keep forgetting that they have a problem – this is the power of addiction.

Russell Brand is convinced that the ‘just say no’ approach to alcohol and drugs is ineffective when it comes to dealing with this type of problem. It seems to him that some people are just predisposed to falling into this type of behaviour and so just telling them not to do it is not going to mean much. The solution, then, seems not to be about convincing them not to start with these substances, but with finding out why they want to start in the first place. From an outsider’s perspective, it will seem as if the individual is choosing to fall into addiction, but the reality is that they will usually walk blindly into this hell despite the warning messages. Russell claims that there are some people like home who just cannot handle alcohol and drugs, but helping these people before they fall into trouble can be very difficult.

During this interview, Russell Brand admitted that he can still have times when he missed heroin. This is very common – even for people who have been sober for decades. The fact is that once people have become addicted, they cannot turn back the clock. Their brain will continue to hold this information, and it can be occasionally triggered. This does not mean that the person spends all their time missing alcohol or drugs – this is not the case at all – but it does mean that occasionally the mind will return to these substances. The good news is that over time these periods of missing the drug will tend to become fewer and fewer. The fact that this desire never completely leaves is actually a good thing if it reminds the individual of the strength of the obsession they are dealing with.

Educating the Public on Addiction

Russell Brand has done a great service to people dealing with addiction by sharing his experiences and opinions. The fact that he is in the public eye means that people will tend to listen to what he has to say. In these interviews with the BBC, he has provided a very accurate picture of what it means to be an addict, so hopefully it will change the minds of some of the people who believe that addiction is all about willpower.

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