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Russell Brand on addiction: Drugs were destroying my life

Larry King NowJul 24 '17

Russell Brand opens up about his addiction to crack and heroin, how he managed to stop using, and what propelled him to turn to drugs in the first place.

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Larry King: What led you to get recovered?

Russell Brand: The drugs were destroying my life, I could not stop taking drugs. It was getting worse--

Larry King: How low did you get?

Russell Brand: I was addicted to crack and --you’re good at this -- journalism, I think there’s a future for you in this, cause I’ve noticed you’re able to follow the line -- that’s a very good skill, pursue it!

Larry King: Gotta listen and go with it, go with the flow…

Russell Brand: (laughs) It was crack and heroin, Larry. Like, I started to like -- I started with likepretty ordinary recreational drugs, it all seemed fun and I’m sure are fun if you have that type of personality, but for me in the end -- I got into like, taking crack and heroin because they’re more effective, more powerful.

Larry King: So you were doing that when I interviewed you the last time.

Russell Brand: No, that was me trying my hardest to be polite, I’ve been like 15 years clean, Larry --

Larry King: You came to my home.

Russell Brand: (laughs) I didn’t, hold on a minute, I didn’t come to your home on crack and heroin, I was --

Larry King: No?

Russell Brand: No! I’d been clean about 10 years then, mate, I’m 15 years clean nearly. I wasn’t in your house, going through your wife’s underwear drawer looking for crack and heroin. Although what I found in there was perhaps worse, some of that underwear is extremely morally dubious, and I would like to know what goes on in that marriage. (Mimics Larry) You came to my home. I was clean then, Larry.

Larry King: How low were you that you were able - what was the step you took?What was the first step? How did you manage to break it?

Russell Brand: Through other people helping me, like, what happened was, is, it was getting worse. Because crack and heroin, a lot of people that use that are street sleepers, a lot of people are homeless. So I was using with a lot of homeless people. I wasn’t homeless myself, in fact, I was starting to do okay, in sort of, in media. But I was hanging out with a lot of homeless people and one occasion I went to sort of like what you call a low-level celebrity shindig. Like, not top celebrities, we’re not talking Jack Nicholson here. No, I’m talking about sort of people who might crop up, like sort of orangey people with very white teeth that come on very early in the morning and act too jolly, that kind of people.

Larry King: You were with them?

Russell Brand: I was with those guys, and the homeless -- now you could see why the homeless were so appealing if I was hanging out with them. Anyway, I went to a party with them, I was hanging out with homeless people and people thought, well this is an odd juxtaposition - these homeless people, and low-level celebrities - what’s going on in this guy’s life? And the man that managed me at the time said “What type of drugs exactly are you taking?” and I told him, and I was introduced to the first 12 step recovery person I ever met, a man with the almost Dickensian name of Chip Summers. Cause it’s a name that sounds quite jolly, but Chip Summers in fact, wasarmed robber and a heroin addict who at that time was 15,16 years clean and ran a treatment center that used the 12 step principles to get people clean.

Larry King: Do you remember why you started?

Russell Brand: Pain. Pain. When I was a kid I felt very bereft, and very alone, and very lost -- and like there was something else -- this I feel still, Larry, there is something else, there is some mystery that is very difficult for us to contact, as long as we feel caged, and grounded by materialism. I accept that we live in this material world and we have to come to terms with it, I accept that I have a body that requires food and oxygen, but there is some other component, that is extra material, perhaps, supernatural as we understand natural, and it’s very difficult for a person like me to live without some access to that.

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