Cannabis, booze, acid, speed, coke, crack, heroin... Russell took drugs every single day. At one point he started being afraid of the fact that he might die. He was told that if he continues like that, in six month time, he's going to be dead, in prison, or in an asylum. He got clean at the age of 27, the age Amy Winehouse was when she died. Amy's death was a paradoxical, unsurprising shock, and Russell felt like he could have done something to help.
That's why he made this film, to have a sympathetic look at alcoholism and addiction, a condition that the World Health Organization regards as a disorder. He reckons that drugs and alcoholism are much misunderstood by users, non-users, and the government. He thinks that we need to start regarding addiction in all its forms as a health issue as opposed to the judicial and criminal issue. In this film he wants to learn more and see if we can do things differently.
Brand meets a whole range of people from whom he draws insights - scientists at the cutting edge of research into the psychology of addiction, those involved in innovative recovery treatments and drug addicts themselves.
Is addiction a disease? Should it be criminalized? And is abstinence-based recovery, which worked for Brand, a possible way forward? In this documentary Brand challenges conventional theory and practice as well as government policy in his own inimitable style, confronting the reality of addiction head on.
Along the way he draws on his own experience to try to help one of the addicts he meets to take the first steps towards recovery. Armed with his own heartfelt beliefs and new insights gained during his journey, Brand has the opportunity to change the hearts and minds of policy makers when he is invited to give evidence before the Home Affairs Select Committee investigating the efficacy of current drug addiction treatment in the UK. - BBC Three.