Russell Brand wants drugs available through chemists

  • 14 August 2012
  • From the section Health

Russell Brand says he thinks drug laws should be changed and that illegal drugs should be made "freely available" through chemists.

The comedian, presenter and actor says he thinks it would work better than the current system as it would be "controlled" and drug addicts could be registered.

The 37-year-old claims drug-related theft would fall and it would keep more people out of prison and get them into recovery.

The star has been speaking to Newsbeat ahead of a BBC television documentary airing later this week in which he shares his own battle to stay clean.

He says he wants to challenge how our society deals with addiction.

"I think it's an issue like no other that's being treated in a weird way," he said.

"The people controlling it don't understand it at all."

Recovery

The star says he has not taken drugs for almost 10 years. He is also a recovering alcoholic.

He split up with wife Katy Perry last year and the couple officially divorced last month.

The star is now campaigning for more abstinence-based recovery schemes, which is when addicts stop taking drugs instead of being provided with substitutes like methadone.

Brand says he benefited from a similar treatment himself.

However, Russell Brand has said he does not think people should be told to stop taking drugs unless they are causing a problem.

He calls that advice "moral nonsense" but denies that may send out mixed messages.

"If you're enjoying drink and drugs, carry on," he said.

Challenged on the point by Newsbeat, he said that it was none of his business whether people took drugs or not and that he just wanted to raise awareness of the problems associated with addiction.

"For those who consider it a problem, get off drugs one day at a time," he said.

"I know if I can live a life free from drugs and alcohol. Anyone can."

Russell Brand: From Addiction To Recovery is on BBC Three on Thursday 16 August at 9pm.