Russell Brand is continuing to leverage his rocky past to help create a brighter future for others still struggling with addiction. 

 

The comedian testified in front of the U.K.'s House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on April 24 on his experiences as an addict and how the current system fails to address the true problem of addiction. "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," he said.

 

The government is currently reviewing existing drug policies and investigating avenues to better fight addiction and substance abuse. Brand's testimony was requested because he frequently speaks about his own past and offers crucial insight into the world of addiction. 

 

"A good number of times I was arrested [it] was simply for possession and the administrative costs of that would be better spent, I think, on education and addressing the costs of treatment," Brand said. "I think that would be a very, very sensible use of those redirected funds."

 

"I'm not a legal expert, but I'm saying that to a drug addict, the legal status is irrelevant." he added. "It is at best an inconvenience. If you need to get drugs because you're a drug addict, you're going to get drugs regardless of their legal status, so the more money you waste in administering and controlling that ... I think there's a futility to it."

 

Back in July, Brand penned an emotional tribute to Amy Winehouse, urging assistance for those battling the same demons as the late singer. 

 

"Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had, but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there," he wrote. "All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call."

 

Watch a brief clip of Brand's testimony before the House Committee below. The full video can be found via the BBC here

 

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