Russell Brand Addiction, Recovery and Self-Help Book

Russell Brand Addiction Book

British celebrity and addiction activist Russell Brand recently released his newest book about recovery from addiction and working a 12-step program. His book, Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, addresses the road to recovery from any type of addiction.

“My qualification for writing this book is not that I am better than you, it’s that I am worse. I am an addict, addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, love and fame.”

– Russell Brand

Brand, was born in Grays, Essex, England on June 4, 1975. Brand, 42, is now known for his career as an author, actor, comedian, radio host and activist. Starting his recovery at the age of 27, he has been free from alcohol and drug abuse for just over 14 years.

Brand’s Behavioral and Drug Addictions

During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2014, Brand talks about how his addictive behaviors started long before he ever found drugs and alcohol.

At a young age, he found himself looking for a temporary relief from the confusion and sadness that he felt. His efforts to induce a quick emotional fix, was his way to cope with what he thought were external problems.

“I look to solve inner problems with external things…I’ll use anything to stop myself feeling.”

– Russell Brand, Oprah

According to U.S. Weekly Magazine, Brand describes his experience and abuse of Heroin. He discloses that the sensations produced by Heroin were somewhat of a heavenly nature, however he states that these sensations were soon fleeting.

“I was getting bad quickly, getting into trouble with the police for shoplifting and public disturbances, minor crimes… it started happening more often.”

– Russell Brand, U.S. Weekly

Brand goes on to explain that his life started to unravel. He reached a point in his life, when all he had were drugs. Regardless of being alone and isolated from the world, Brand recalls that it was all he felt he needed.

Is Brand’s Childhood to Blame for Addiction?

In his new book, Brand talks about traumatic events that happened during his childhood. Trauma is a hard pill to swallow for any kid and for Brand the traumas he experienced were plentiful. From being abused, to being raised by a single mother who has been fighting with cancer for many years.

“I was touched as a child and I felt the warping, like flexed glass, not entirely unpleasant”

-Russell Brand, People

Brands experience as an adolescent set his understanding of self and the world. He began having feelings of insecurity and inadequacy that plagued his mind daily.

According to his interview with People Magazine, Brand discloses that he would have thoughts about his mom’s illness, not liking school, not feeling safe and that his father doesn’t like him. Additionally, when it came to his peers and the people of influence in his life that he would think things such as, “I don’t belong,” and “People don’t like me.”

“I don’t know whether or not events in your life send you into addiction because a lot of people have had very different lives and haven’t become addicts, so I think it’s difficult to say”

-Russell Brand, People

Although Brand’s experiences as a child were challenging, he does not believe that any one occurrence is responsible for him developing an addiction. Addiction does not discriminate and truthfully, it can happen to anyone.

Drug Abuse and the Gift of Desperation

In Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, Brand talks about having the gift of desperation. He emphasizes on his experiences during his downward spiral with drugs as well as other addictions.

“I was really lucky with the point where people intervened. Chip Sommers said, ‘If you keep doing this, within six months, you’ll be in prison, a lunatic asylum or dead… he was right”

-Russell Brand, U.S. Weekly

Moreover, Brand shares how he “royally” destroyed his life with Heroin and other drugs. Ultimately, he was left with no other option, except accepting the help available to him.

Freedom from Addiction’s Obsession

Fortunately for Russell Brand addiction had an ending. With the help of a 12-step program, he was able to pull himself out of the flames of addiction. A well-known program that uses the 12-steps is called Alcoholics Anonymous. This 12-step recovery process is what Brand claims his book represents, except that is it a bit more personal.

“[Now] I don’t struggle with [addictive] urges because the program I live by helps me to remain serene and prevents those urges from arriving.”

-Russell Brand, U.S. Weekly

In his newest book he has laid out his personal experience and program in recovery, a “no B.S. program,” that will bring addiction to its knees.

“It’s like I’ve been to a college of mental illness and now I’ve graduated.”

– Russell Brand, U.S. Weekly

When you have the disease of addiction, it is something that you must live with for the rest of your life. However, living with the experience of an addicted brain every day does not have to be a struggle or a bore.

An Honest Look at Your Life and Addiction

Brand’s progression from Heroin addiction to recovery, started with step one. Step one talks about admitting powerlessness and unmanageability of one’s life, which he perceives as, “Are you a bit f—ed?”

In his book, Brand reveals that he took two full days writing out an inventory for Step Four. Additionally, he opens up about the resentments he had, that weighed on him heavily throughout his life.

When I was writing this I was just focusing on being really, really honest and really, really truthful…it really helped me understand myself.”

-Russell Brand, Mashable

As a result of his willingness to do 12-step work and take inventory of his life, Brand has discovered himself in a not so self-focused light. His experience has even led him to have a personal belief in a Higher Power.

Amending the Harm of Drug Addiction

In his new self-help guide, brand discloses that although the 12-step program has allowed him to mend his relationships, it’s been a structured process.

Being in recovery and working a 12-step program, Brand is presented a chance to amend the pain he has caused for others. However, making an amends to the one’s he has harmed is not just a one and done kind of deal, it’s a life-long commitment.

“My amends … consisted of a frank, quiet apology and a commitment to be a different man going forward.”

-Russell Brand, People

Unlike before, he can manage his life, especially in the realm of addiction. Brand states in his new book that he would probably still be struggling with addiction if he didn’t have the program.

As stated by People Magazine, for Russell Brand addiction stopped but finding the source of his discontentment and pain was a long process, but it was worth it. He understands that doing 12-step work and staying connected has brought him to his serene, happy self that he is today. Without continuous improvement and growth as a person, recovery wouldn’t be as great. According to PageSix, Russell Brand is hoping to soon make amends to ex-wife Katy Perry. However this is provided – he hasn’t already done so.

  1. Is there a way to make contact with Russel Brand regarding a problem I have, including thousands of others in the country. Now that the law has change, majority of people with addiction issues are having there children taken off them by social services. I’m looking to get help in changing the new law as I feel its not the way forwards in helping addicts, families or anyone long term. Its a very long story, but one I think Russel would be very interested in. Any advice would be massively appreciated. Hannah

  2. Hello,
    I’ve just watched Russell’s interview with Stephen (from Plymouth, via?).
    Both very erudite men.
    I’m trying to recover from my addiction to alcohol.
    I’m going to try and re-engage with God.
    Nothing else has really worked for me so far.
    A friend has introduced me to Eckhart Tolle and being in The Now / being present. That has helped.
    I tried AA a couple of years ago.
    Being the addict I am, I convinced myself that I didn’t fit.
    Two years later and I’ve lost my family and all that went with it.
    I watched Jeremy Paxman’s interview with David Bowie recently, where Bowie states he can never even drink a glass of wine again, due to his addiction.
    Listening to Russell, it’s obvious that the 12 steps do work though, so long as you’re present and engage.
    I’ll be at my next local AA meeting.
    I’ve had so much to be angry about, which I’ve let ruin most of my 58 years.
    It’s time I took that little boy and let him know he’s loved.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like