Russell Brand: Philip Seymour Hoffman Is Another Victim Of Extremely Stupid Drug Laws

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The article, “Russell Brand: Philip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely Stupid drug laws”, from the Guardian, on Thursday 6 February 2014, discusses Hoffman’s’ addiction to heroin and his untimely death. Russell Brand claims that the actor, who died from heroin overdose, died due to the drug laws that exist today. He also stresses that the stigma attached to addiction and mental health issues continues to, from a social perspective, criminalize drug addiction. He appeals to our emotions when he provides us with personal experience, as he is a former addict himself. He illustrates why prohibition does not work. He also discusses the changes in Switzerland and Portugal and how they have significantly dropped drug related deaths …show more content…
Brand is a recovering addict. He understands that there is a stigma attached with addiction and mental health issues. He has felt it. He does a good job in expressing those feelings and portraying how the mind of an addict works. It is very sad when he tells of Hoffman dying alone and that ultimately the man was a drug addict and his death inevitable. As Brand reports it as 'inescapably bleak ', it seems unfortunate that it is this way. Russell describes what it is like being in recovery and the feelings that an addict will struggle with after a relapse. The immense shame and guilt that goes along with the relapse pushes the addict further into their own mind, isolating them. Like Hoffman, with all the success and good fortunes, the praise and accolades, the most predominant voice that was heard was the mind of an addict. Brand characterizes that voice as unrelenting and the one that wants you …show more content…
Both these countries have decided to create drug laws that are more tolerant. They no longer criminalize the possession of drugs; therefore, drug addiction is not a criminal offence. Brand interprets and expresses the effects of these new laws as significant. If decriminalization worked in other countries then why no try it. If people understood that decriminalization is not legalization would it make a difference? How much money could be saved if people were not placed in jail for possession charges for drugs? Maybe those who need help the most would seek it if they were no longer stigmatized by being an addict. As Brand points out, those who are most severely affected by drug prohibition are dispensable, politically irrelevant people. It is Hoffman 's death, which should remind all of us that addiction is indiscriminate, and it affects us

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