Video: Russell Brand Speaks in UK Parliament | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Video: Russell Brand Speaks in UK Parliament

The comedian tells a British drug policy committee that addicts are sick, not criminals, and calls for more compassion.


Brand gets his points across. Photo via

By May Wilkerson


| Share

British comedian and actor Russel Brand urged politicians to regard addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal matter, while speaking before Members of Parliament in a committee on UK drug policy. A recovering drug addict, 36-year-old Brand said it would be "a brilliant idea" if the money spent "nicking people for possession" could be instead channeled to treatment and recovery programs. Now sober for nine years, he appeared alongside the head of Focus 12, the detox center that helped him through his recovery. In his 2007 autobiography, My Bookie Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs and Stand-Up, Brand related how his own descent into drug and alcohol addiction wreaked havoc on his life. He told the committee he became addicted to drugs because of a mental and psychological condition and a "spiritual malady," adding that it's more effective to address these issues than to criminalize addicts.

Brand thinks decriminalization of drugs could prove "useful," but avoided taking a definitive stance, saying "as a drug addict, the legal status [of a drug] is an irrelevance." Instead, he emphasizes the importance of tackling the "disease" of addiction with an abstinence and recovery-based approach. "Addicts that get clean, one day at a time, through abstinence-based recovery, generally speaking stop committing crimes," he told MPs. "We need to change the laws in this country and have a more compassionate, altruistic, loving attitude to the people with the disease of addiction."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv