Russell Brand reflects on 20 years sober: ‘It’s never done on your own’

‘Thank you to all the people who have helped me to remain clean,’ comedian and YouTube host said

Ellie Muir
Wednesday 14 December 2022 14:15 GMT
Russell Brand celebrates 20 years of sobriety

Russell Brand has thanked his family and fans as he celebrated 20 years sober.

The comedian, 43, praised his family and fans in an Instagram video as he celebrated two decades of being “clean and sober” following his addiction to substances including heroin and alcohol.

Speaking in the video, he said: “I’m 20 years clean and sober today. Thank you to all the people who have helped me to remain clean. It’s never done on your own.”

Brand attended a rehabilitation centre in 2002 and has been sober since.

He continued, praising the support he has received from friends and family: “It is impossible for a person like me to not drink and use drugs unless I have sufficient and ongoing support form people who understand what it is like to feel that drugs or alcohol or certain behaviours are necessary in order to feel okay.”

Brand went on to give viewers advice if they know someone “who is a drug addict and an alcoholic and seems hopeless and desperate”.

“I know loads of you do,” he added. “Loads of you are worried about someone you love. I know loads of you are addicts yourselves and you feel like ‘Oh god, it’s just hopeless’. Well, that’s not true, it is possible for change,” he urged viewers.

He said recovery is only possible by “awakening from the world of attachment”, which he admitted remained an “ongoing process.”

The comedian continued: “Because I still, every day at 20 years without crack and heroin, without alcohol, still feel strongly, a strong requirement – a strong requirement – to seek approval or connection or validation or pleasure or distraction from the outside world.”

“There is a way back to dignity, there is a way back to behaving responsibly and caringly - those things are all possible.”

The TV personality, who in recent years has been accused of peddling conspiracy theories on his YouTube channel, is married to Laura Gallacher, with whom he shares daughters Mabel, six and Peggy, four.

Explaining that life as a husband and father has changed him, he said: “I don’t live in the reckless, dangerous, selfish way that I used to live.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, you can confidentially call the national alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here. In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.

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