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Russell Brand Celebrates 19 Years of Sobriety

Comedian and actor Russell Brand is perhaps one of the most outspoken figures in Hollywood, and is well-known for sharing his struggles with sobriety with the public. Today, his outspokenness serves as a reminder that there is hope for those suffering from addiction, as he celebrates 19 years of sobriety.

Now 46 years old, Brand took to Twitter to share his accomplishment in the form of a video and short post. In the video clip, he says, “On the 13th of December, 2021, I’d like to say thank you, to all of you, and I’d like to say to any of you that are suffering from addiction or know anyone suffering from addiction, there is a way out. It is possible. It is possible to live differently if you are a drug addict. It is possible to live differently if you are suffering. It is possible to live differently if you live in a twisted and broken culture.”

His message of hope comes during a time when countless individuals struggle with sobriety and relapses at the advent of the holiday season. While Brand now celebrates his journey through recovery, his path has not always been easy.

Born in England in 1975, Brand was raised by his mother after his parents’ separation. As a teenager, Brand began to experiment with illegal drugs, including amphetamines, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy. By the time Brand entered his twenties, though, he had progressed his experimentation to heroin use.

Speaking about his relationship with heroin, he said, “Ever since the first couple of times I’d smoked it, in my early 20s, I had always maintained a great interest in heroin. I’d sort of fallen in love with the warmth of it – the way it felt like crawling back into the womb. Heroin delivered.”

In that same passage, an excerpt from his memoir, Brand explores his connection to the substance, how it intoxicated him, and how it took over his life, including his career and relationships. At that time, Brand had been working for MTV—a stint that quickly ended in the midst of his drug use.

In an interview with the LA Times, Brand stated that he hit “rock bottom” with his heroin addiction in 2003. After being arrested at least a dozen times in connection with his drug use, Brand made the decision to get sober. He elected to attend a 12-Step program, where he learned the skills of recovery after a four-year long addiction to heroin and decades of drug abuse.

Brand has since become a huge advocate of the 12 Steps, and even wrote a book, Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, as a result of his experiences with the program. The book serves as a commentary on his relationship with AA, as well as his own interpretation and how he made the program work for him. Written in his signature style—which is often quite profane—the book also promotes the importance and value of meditation in long-term addiction recovery.

Speaking further to the LA Times, Brand said the aspect of community also drew him to AA programs, stating that, “Sharing your story with another addict, as I did in my recovery, proved vital. Nothing I said to this other person was too boring or terrible or trivial to him. He related to me — and the disconnectedness that I had always felt lifted. And so did the need to take drugs.”

Now nearly two decades sober, Brand’s story is an example to all that recovery is possible—and that there is no shame in sharing the journey it takes to get there. With a popular YouTube channel, a young family, and many projects in the works, Brand is thriving, and is a terrific advocate for the possibility that exists in long-term sobriety.

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