When it comes to walking a mile in the shoes of someone who's struggled with drug addiction, comedian Russell Brand has run a marathon or two. The British funny man was in front of his country's Commons Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday, in an effort to rally support for some changes for how drug addiction is handled. Brand has been extremely candid throughout his career about his struggles with heroin addiction, a struggle that led to numerous arrests.
"It's more important that we regard people's suffering from addiction with compassion, and that there is a pragmatic rather than symbolic approach to treating it," Brand said on Tuesday. The committee that the "Arthur" star was testifying before is examining England's drug laws and considering the decriminalization of some drugs. He said that his own addiction to drugs came from a deep emotional and psychological sorrow and that he "was sad, lonely, unhappy, detached and drugs and alcohol for me seemed like a solution to that problem."
Substance abuse is certainly nothing new among celebrities. However, because of the negative publicity implications, many stars seek treatment in private, and never discuss their addictions. Some stars, however, have been very frank about their battles with drugs and alcohol. Here are a few notable cases.
Drew Barrymore - Barrymore's family are well-known for their battles with booze and drugs, and Drew wasn't able to escape it either. In her tell-all book she wrote at just 15 years old, the star of "50 First Dates" recounted tales of debauchery that started when she was just nine years old. After bottoming out and attempting suicide at age 14, Drew was put into rehab and since she's climbed back up to a position of prominence in Hollywood, acting in and producing films.
Demi Lovato - She started her career in showbiz at a very young age on the long-running PBS show "Barney & Friends," and she rocketed to fame on the Disney Channel starring in "Sonny With a Chance." However, in 2010 the bloom came off the rose when she left a Jonas Brothers tour to enter rehab for an eating disorder and reportedly hurting herself. Then just last week Lovato told a magazine that in the times leading up to her rehab stint she was being handed drugs and alcohol on a regular basis by club promoters that wanted her to be seen in their establishment.
Robert Downey Jr. - The "Iron Man" star's candidness about his drug addiction issues may have been born out of the fact that it was splashed across headlines everywhere. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Downey very publicly struggled with drug addiction, eventually serving time behind bars for violating the conditions of his probation. Downey has frequently opened up about aspects of the dark times in his life, likely due to the fact that the stories are out there, so why not come clean and tell his side? Downey serves as an example of how possible it is to become an A-list actor again, even after fighting for his life against drug addiction.
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