Russell Brand Celebrates 19 Years of Sobriety After Heroin Addiction: 'There Is a Way Out'
The comedian and actor, 46, reflected on the nearly two decades that he's now spent free of drugs or alcohol in a video shared on social media on Monday, his 19-year anniversary.
"On the 13th of December, 2021, I'd like to say thank you, to all of you, and I'd like to say to any of you that are suffering from addiction or know anyone suffering from addiction, there is a way out. It is possible," Brand said.
"It is possible to live differently if you are a drug addict. It is possible to live differently if you are suffering. It is possible to live differently if you live in a twisted and broken culture."
Brand acknowledged, though, that going sober typically feels like a daunting task for someone struggling with addiction or dependency on drugs and alcohol.
"All of these things may seem a little high falutin and even fanciful and impossible, and individually, that's exactly what they are, but collectively, human beings motivated by spirit, willing to change and sacrifice can create wonderful things together," he said.
The Forgetting Sarah Marshall star has been open about dealing with an addiction to heroin and agreeing to go to rehab in 2002. Brand has been sober since, and wrote the book Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions in 2017, documenting that time in his life and his work sponsoring others as they go through rehab. He has said that the overdose death of his close friend Amy Winehouse spurred him to do more to help drug addicts.
"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," he wrote in a 2013 essay for The Guardian.
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In his video on Monday, Brand said that he hopes to be an example for others hoping to get sober.
"If someone as crazy and hopeless and lost as I was can become a father and a husband and a member of various communities, committed to service and change, then there is hope for all of us," he said.
"I believe in recovery. I believe in you. I believe in our future,"