Thanks to a programme by Russell Brand the issue of drug addiction is at the fore front of many minds.

In his programme he talked about his documented struggle with drugs and the things that kept him on them and the things that helped him come of and stay off them.

The programme was a very personal journey told in the classic brand way. But it was also highly informative.

I’ve never had a drug or drink problem, and as far as I am aware I don’t currently know anyone who does. A couple of years ago some one I went to school with died of a drug overdose. He got into drugs in high school but didn’t move into heavy use until he left.

Three years later we all thought he had turned his life around, he was clean and waiting for his first posting in the  Royal Navy. The night before he was due to leave he went to a party, took a hell of a lot of drugs and didn’t wake up the next morning.  It’s a sad end to a life that seemed to be getting back on track and would I think have been less of a shock to his family if he had overdosed when he was using every day. Not that the death of a loved one is ever easy.

 

you don’t have to like the things Russell Brand does or like him as a person but his programme is something I think everyone should see.

Even after watching his programme I  still don’t understand why people use and get so addicted to drugs they need to use them just to get out of bed in the morning. And, to be honest I hope I never truly understand it the way a user does.

I’ve tried cannabis a couple of times when I was in high school, but I didn’t get the appeal. I didn’t like the way it took away my inhibitions and made me giggle at the smallest thing.

Brand talked to various people who are still using drugs and where reviving methadone in a bid to help them stop. Without exception they all said they took the what sounded to me like very high doses of the stuff and then went out and carried on doing what ever it took to score their drug of choice on top of it. The methadone just means that they have a regular supply of one drug.

Their stories where all eerily similar they were given the script of the methadone and then sent out into the world. no other help to get clean was offered.

I can’t help thinking, whats the point of giving them this easily accessible drug and then leave them to it. The fact that they are heavy drug users and will always try to reach the next high must show that they need all the help they can get to give up the drugs and get clean.

Brand got clean by going into an abstinence-based programme. Run by people who themselves where drug addicts that got clean using the same programme they run.

Seems to me to be the best advert for their programme you could have. They where in the same place once as the people they treat and even though they still get excited by the thought of drugs.

They take it one day at a time and do their best to help the people who come to them.

Now I understand that abstinence may not work for everyone, but to me it seems to have a better success rate then just giving more drugs to the addicts. It gives them the tools they need to say no to the drugs every minute of every day.

In the programme Brand was with a woman who had a wrap of twenty pounds worth of heroin. He held it in his hands and looked closely at it. You could see in his eyes that he wanted more than anything in that moment to take the drug, but in what I think was a great show of strength he put it down on the table and turned away.

After watching the hour-long programme that looked into why people use drugs if there is something wrong with their brains that makes them more susceptible to being addicted. I cant help but think that the law regarding drugs and how it treats those who use them should have a hell of a lot more imput by those who have come out the other side and made something of their lives.

I for one know that I wouldn’t be able to properly legislate for drugs not having a personal experience with them.

But one thing is clear, the way we go about it now, putting the users in jail where they can still get hold of drugs and then sending them out into the world with nothing to help them say no, just isn’t working. If anything its making the problem worse.