Russell Brand’s Testimony on Dealing with Drug Addiction

Celebrity Russell Brand makes very intelligent comments to a UK government inquiry on how to deal with drug addiction problems. He was an addict and has been drug free now for years.

His main point seems to be that we need to take a pragmatic approach to what is a primarily a health problem not a criminal problem. Abstinence (all all drugs – including legal ones such as alcohol) based recovery is what he has succeeded with and he believes in. “I think what we need is love and compassion… because it deals with the problem and reducing crime”

Russell’s book, My Booky Wook, discusses this life including his drug use and recovery.

Related: Eminem’s ‘Relapse’ Explores His Drug Addition and RehabilitationPrinciples of Effective Drug Treatment and RehabilitationHow Effective is Drug Addiction Treatment?

Aging of the Population in Rehab

cover of A Paper Life by Tatum O'neal

Why Is Mom in Rehab? by Charles Blow, New York Times:

Ms. O’Neal illustrates a disturbing trend among those being admitted to substance abuse treatment services: a growing percentage of older women are being treated for harder drugs.

Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed that the total number of admissions to treatment services from 1996 to 2005 (the last year for which detailed data are available) stayed about the same among people under 40, but jumped 52 percent among those 40 and older. Of the 40 and older group, the rise in admissions among men was 44 percent. Among women, it was 82 percent.

Under the Rug: Substance Abuse and The Mature Woman, 1998

This report reveals that of the 25.6 million women over 59 in the United States, 4.4 million (17 percent) are addicted to nicotine, some 1.8 million (seven percent) abuse alcohol; and about 2.8 million (11 percent) abuse psychoactive drugs. Mature women are more likely to be hospitalized for substance abuse-related problems than for heart attacks. The substance abuse-related ailments and accidents they suffer will result in some $30 billion in health care bills in 1998 and on our present course, will top $100 billion a year in 20 years. Premature death from smoking and abuse of alcohol and psychoactive prescription drugs robs mature women of at least 15 million years of life and millions of years more of independent living.

Related: A Paper Life by Tatum O’Neal

Postcards from the Edge

photo of Carrie Fisher (On the Lot)

Postcards from the Edge is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Carrie Fisher (know, for among other things, for playing Princess Leia in Star Wars and as the Daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fischer) that explores a celebrity through drug addiction and rehabilitation.

Carrie Adapted the book to a movie of the same name: Postcards from the Edge in which Meryl Strep played Suzanne Vale. The Best Awful continues the story of Suzanne Vale.

Related: Carrie Fisher tames her demons in solo showCarrie Fisher’s ‘Wishful Drinking’ (NPR)The Princess Diaries