Russell Brand, noted funny guy with a British accent and former heroin addict, appeared in front of the UK’s House of Commons Committee yesterday afternoon, speaking about how the nation copes with drug addicts. His main goal was to convince British legislators that drug addicts should be aided, not jailed.
Among Brand’s other chief arguments were: 1) The government must treat drug use in a realistic, simplified fashion and that 2) Treating drug addicts with drugs (mainly methadone) is not an affective way to help save lives. Citing his own personal experiences with both drug addiction and the law (Brand has been arrested 12 times), here are a few of the salient comments made by Brand.
“It’s more important that we regard people’s suffering from addiction with compassion, and that there is a pragmatic rather than symbolic approach to treating it.
The status of a drug is irrelevant to a drug addict. If you’re a drug addict, you’re getting drugs. That’s it. So in way, it’s probably best to make it simple.
If you have the illness or disease of addiction or alcoholism, the best way to tackle it is not use drugs in any form whether it’s state-sponsored opus like methadone or illegal street drugs.”
Brand continually enforced his belief that jailing drug addicts and merely tossing them “medical” drugs to get them off of recreational drugs is not the right approach.
While it’s hard to take anything a comedian like Brand (particularly when he’s equipped with such a thick accent and dressed like a Dandy) says seriously, his points were level-headed and accurate. No one knows how to enter the mind of a drug addict better than an actual drug addict. And if it takes the voice of a celebrity to help a country approach issues like these reasonably, then it’s all for the better.
Would you take advice from Russell Brand on how to get clean?