Russell Brand


Anyone who thinks Russell Brand doesn't miss drugs would be sorely mistaken. 

The witty British comic reflected on his decade-long struggle to maintain his sobriety in a moving essay for the latest edition of the U.K.'s The Spectator.

In it, Brand, a former heroin addict and recovering alcoholic, opened up about the cravings he still has for the drug and how he has to maintain a constant vigilance against relapse.

"The last time I thought about taking heroin was yesterday," Brand wrote after being informed by a beautiful woman that she was pregnant by someone other than him. "I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralizing pain. It transforms a tight white first into a gentle brown wave, and from my first inhalation 15 years ago it fumigated my private hell."

The 37-year-old funnyman admitted he was somewhat shocked by a realization he had when discussing his substance abuse for a documentary on the subject and reviewing footage of him smoking heroin.

"When I saw the tape a month or so ago, what was surprising was that my reaction was not one of gratitude for the positive changes I've experienced. Instead I felt envious of this earlier version of myself, unencumbered by the burden of abstinence," Brand noted. "I sat in a suite at the Savoy hotel, in privilege, resenting the woeful ratbag I once was who, for all his problems, had drugs." 

He continued: "That is obviously irrational, but the mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and, unless they have structured help, they have no hope."

The Get Him to the Greek star explained that his own struggle was what inspired him to found his Comic Relief-based charity, Give It Up, for which he's hosting an all-star benefit scheduled to take place tonight at London's Wembley Arena.

Brand also pointed to Grammy winner Amy Winehouse's passing and his inability to help her seek treatment as another reason.

Wrote Russell: "What was so painful about Amy's death is that I know that there is something I could have done. I could have passed on to her the solution that was freely given to me. Don't pick up a drink or drug, one day at a time." 

Hence, Brand said it's his goal that Give It Up help fund treatment centers, promote a "compassionate perception of drunks and addicts," and provide the right support networks for them.

We wish him the best. To read the full essay, click here.

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