Russell Brand is uniquely privileged to be able to afford high quality abstinence-based support and care, and he can anticipate a life full of opportunities and choices. A big and bright future.
Millions of other people are dependent on opiates in developing countries. If only they were as lucky as him. Far too many drug users are bribed or beaten by police or gangs and end up in jail for years for carrying small quantities of illegal drugs. These interventions – safe injecting programmes, methadone, HIV treatment, overdose prevention, access to justice – are relatively low cost, and are proven to work. Providing methadone is a crucial part of that picture. Many people are desperate for the health and social benefits that methadone brings and are fighting long and courageous battles for their right to get it.
Where we would agree with Brand is when he says that what’s needed is a major “attitudinal shift” in the way people who use drugs are viewed and that treating them as criminal is not the way forward.
Great response to Russell Brand’s recent comments and documentary promoting abstinence-based recovery as the best course for people who use drugs. While we fully support Brand’s recovery, there is no one way to recovery, to changes in drug use, to treatment, or to happiness. While abstinence is an excellent choice for some, it is not the only way to have a happy and healthy relationship with drugs or drug treatment.