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Russell Brand to give addiction evidence to MPs

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Russell Brand is to give evidence to MPs about drug addiction.

The comedian and actor will speak about his own battle with addiction to those MPs reviewing the Government's drug policy in an attempt to persuade them that attitudes need to change, Sky News reports.

Russell Brand

© PA Images


> Russell Brand: 'I'd have died without rehab'

Brand is due to appear before the Home Affairs select committee today (April 24) alongside Chip Somers.

Somers is chief executive of Focus 12, the detox centre where the actor sought help.

Brand has spoken frankly in the past both publicly and in his autobiography My Booky Wook.

Following Amy Winehouse's death last summer, Brand wrote a tribute to the singer on his website in which he called addiction a "serious disease" which should be regarded and treated as such.

"Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions or death," he wrote. "Now Amy Winehouse is dead, like many others whose unnecessary deaths have been retrospectively romanticised, at 27 years old. Whether this tragedy was preventable or not is now irrelevant. It is not preventable today.

Amy Winehouse

© PA Images / Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

VMAS 2011: Russell Brand

© PA Images / Matt Sayles/AP/Press Association Images


[L: Amy Winehouse performs - R: Russell Brand pays tribute to Amy Winehouse at the MTV VMAs, August 2011]

"We have lost a beautiful and talented woman to this disease. Not all addicts have Amy's incredible talent. Or Kurt's (Cobain) or Jimi's (Hendrix) or Janis's (Joplin), some people just get the affliction."

Brand continued: "All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill."

Keith Vaz, Chairman of the Select Committee, said: "Hearing from those personally affected by drugs use is essential to our inquiry.

"I welcome Russell Brand's openness about his addiction and recovery. I hope that his experiences will help us understand the nature of addiction and the impact that it has on addicts and those around them."

In addition to his own experience of drug addiction, Brand will also be questioned about his new BBC documentary on the subject.

Brand is said to be "doing well" following his divorce from wife Katy Perry.

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