Russell Brand “We need to Review the way society treats addicts”

The death of Amy Winehouse has been a huge shock to the music industry with celebrities and fans sending out heartfelt condolences. Her passing is a terrible tragedy, not only for those who loved her music, but for her famiy, that wanted to save her from herself.

Drug addiction is something that many people face, but struggle to overcome in the same light as smoking, alcohol and other substance abuse.

Russell Brand wrote an article yesterday on the Guardian newspaper revealing his history with the troubled star, but made some noteworthy comments about addiction. He admitted that society was not treating addicts as people who needed help, but rather as outcasts; criminals who need to punish.

Could society have saved Amy Winehouse if a system had been in place to help her rehabilitation beyond her own efforts? Being an addict made it difficult, if not impossible for her to kick the habit, which could take months or years to fully reverse. At the end of the day, we can’t force someone to seek help, but is there not a way that rehab can go further than just a clinic?

I must commend Brand’s viewpoint about how we categorize addicts, drunks and junkies as ‘criminals’, and that deep down these people face an internal struggle. How do we help change things around so artists like Amy can live a good life after treatment and get the right help?

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