In Russell Brand’s documentary From Addiction to Recovery, Brand speaks to a host of people from addicts, to counselors, to law enforcement to unravel the mystery of how to best help addicts. Along the way, he takes the viewer on a journey of the seedier side of life. For most people, myself included, this is an aspect of life that may have heretofore been unseen, and to say that it is shocking is putting it mildly. As I was watching this, I found myself feeling empathy for the addict who cannot control his actions. Before watching this I always thought the addict was making a conscious choice to continue to do drugs, but, as it turns out, this is a disease over which the addict has no control. The counselor in the prison said it best when he stated that once addicts start, they cannot stop.

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This documentary was informative, and, at times, shocking. I knew who Russell Brand was, but I never knew that he had such a horrific drug problem. Only ten years ago, he was taking drugs everyday. It was heartbreaking to hear his mother talk about what a dark time that was and how he was not concerned about his appearance or how he treated others. He got clean at age 27 which was the age of Amy Winehouse when she died. Brand loved Winehouse, but he knew that she had a serious addiction and yet did nothing to try and help her. When he was speaking with Martino, they were watching a video of Brand doing drugs, and the look on Brand’s face as he watched his younger self doing drugs was shocking. He looked like he would love to be doing drugs again.

I had never heard of methadone prior to watching this documentary. Methadone is a heroin substitute used to treat 90% of Britain’s addicts. This prescription drug is thought to reduce crime and curb the addict’s thirst for drugs, but in actuality, addicts abuse it and use other drugs and alcohol in addition to the methadone. The counselor at Focus 12 Rehab made the comment that addicts do not want to be stable. Instead, they want to get “wrecked” or wasted. Once and addict always an addict. Brand even interviewed a doctor about the use of methadone, but the take away from that interview was that Brand and the doctor would have to agree to disagree.

This is a documentary that everyone should watch. The message of it is loud and clear: do not start taking drugs because once you start taking drugs you are on your way to becoming an addict. According to Brand, drugs will take everything from you. After watching this documentary, I am left to ponder- why would anyone want to take drugs and risk getting sucked into the abyss of addiction?