Back to top

[ Skip to main content ]

Q&A: Russell Brand


russell brand

On the tenth anniversary of his recovery, comedian Russell Brand invited Matters of Substance backstage to the final show of his Australia and New Zealand tour. We talked about recovery, pears, and his pro-recovery activism. Happy 10 years in recovery, Russell.

Q Everyone says it's kind of a big deal.

A: The 10 years and everything? I'm really happy about that. It's a day for extra gratitude I suppose, you really have to reflect on what it was like when you were drinking and using. So ten years of abstinence, from drinking and drugs, is good. I'm very happy.

[Takes a bite of pear]

I still eat pears though. Like a maniac. I can't stop. If I had to give these up. God, I'd rather die.

Q: Being a celebrity and all, do you feel an extra weight of having to show the recovery?

A: No. I don't. Being a celebrity, that's abstract, innit?

Q: You're in the public eye, everyone knows you've used, that you're in recovery. Is there a sense of obligation then?

A: No. I've got it the same. For me, I've got the same disease as anyone else. It affects me the same way as everyone else.

Q: But you're in a different position than anyone else.

A: That don't make no difference to me.

Q: But it makes a difference to other people.

A: But that's not my business. That's what my programme is: what goes on with other people — good or bad or indifferent — that's up to them. What goes on in here... [points to head] that's my programme. That works for me.

Q: What is recovery?

A: Don't take drugs. Don't drink. One day at a time.

Q: Is that it?

A: Yeah. On a basic level, that's it. Maybe get into a higher power if you want to. But for me, my recovery is one day at a time and don't drink don't take drugs.

Q: One of the things you've done recently, you had a bit of a crack at politicians in the UK about the war on drugs. What you were trying to do was education on addiction and you talked about the failure of the War on Drugs. What was the message you were bringing to those lovely people?

A: That drug addiction is a disease not a crime. A lot of it is the result from crime activity, not just the problem. I'm saying something they already know.

Q: do you think people in the recovery community should get more engaged in the policy debates around drug policy, the criminalisation.

A: I don't mind what people do. I mean, like for me what I think is that I'll just do what I can do. Obviously I think it would be better if people who knew about addiction were in charge of the treatment of addiction, rather than don't know anything about it. Just the same as with agriculture

Q: Final question. Can I get a hug?

[HUGS]

Check out these related articles: See more articles

A week of firsts: Drug checking at O-Week

University O-week is about helping new students to find their feet before study begins in earnest. It's also become notorious for unruly par......

Read More
Lotta Dann Thumbnail

Preview of Living Sober's new look and usability improvements

After a year of work behind the scenes, Living Sober is relaunching with a fresh new look and user experience improvements....

Read More
synthetics update thumbnail

Urgent synthetics response underway

The Drug Foundation is teaming up with over a dozen organisations to support the Ministry of Health in developing a coordinated response to ......

Read More
MoS Nov 2018 thumbnail jenny valentish

Q&A: Jenny Valentish

enny Valentish is a journalist and novelist. Her latest book Woman of Substances is part memoir and part investigation into the relationship......

Read More
Share:
e substance newsletter promotional thumbnail
Subscribe to email updates

Get regular news, analysis and commentary on drugs issues in New Zealand. Free.

Sign up now!

DF WebAd DrugHelp 4
DrugHelp

Online support resource if you or someone you care about is struggling with drug use

Visit DrugHelp