Russell Brand is well-known for being a comedian, but he gets very serious at certain times. He appeared on Megyn Kelly Today on Tuesday to share his story of dealing with addictions to drugs and alcohol, and ultimately, his recovery — he's been sober for 14 years.
"When I started, I took it one day at a time," he said of recovering from heroin addiction and alcoholism. "Ultimately, I found that spirituality worked for me." Brand is a devoted practitioner of transcendental meditation, which he calls "perhaps the most important thing in the world." He continued, "meditation is your negotiation with your feelings... I am not my thoughts, I am not my feelings. There are lots of techniques. You follow your breath. You sit in a position that’s comfortable...Scan your body for where you carry the tension. Is it in your shoulders? Is it in your face?"
"This country has a horrific opioid problem," Brand noted, and unfortunately, he's right. The United States is experiencing an epidemic of opioid addictions and overdoses, and many are struggling to obtain the healthcare they need. The origins of this public health crisis can be traced back to an increase in physicians prescribing opioids for chronic pain, despite their addictive potential. More opioid medication in homes means teens and young adults have easier access to them, which has helped fuel the addiction crisis in younger generations. And many people addicted to prescription painkillers turn to heroin because it is cheaper and the effect is largely the same.
Brand, who is still in recovery, is now married and experiencing first-time fatherhood. His daughter is almost a year old, and he's in the throes of being dazzled by everything his baby is doing. "I look at my baby learning to walk. How is she going to learn to walk? She's too little. Her feet are like tiny little matchsticks."
Watch the full interview below.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.