‘We’re all addicts,’ Russell Brand tells Positive News magazine

Addiction is a spectrum that everyone is on, says Russell Brand in the new issue of Positive News magazine, as he shares his views on how understanding addiction can help people to lead more fulfilling lives

A former heroin, crack cocaine and sex-addict who has been clean for 15 years and is now a married father-of-one, Brand features on the cover of Positive News issue 92 and speaks frankly about his demons, and desire “to be connected”.

The interview is part of a focus on addiction in the latest issue of the magazine. From the multimillionaire who gave away his fortune, to the former alcoholic who has designed an app to help others in recovery, Positive News meets those who know what can be gained from facing up to addiction.


Help us change the news for good

Become a Positive News member


“I wasn’t taking heroin because it tastes nice, it was a way of dealing with the fact that I couldn’t connect, couldn’t find union” says Brand. “Access to a connection will always be the solution.”

Positive News magazine offers quality, independent journalism that focuses on progress and possibility. Other key articles in the new issue include a photo-led feature about four inspiring young conservationists, an exploration of the grassroots movement to unite people through food, and features about wild swimming and craftivism. The magazine also reports on how soil degradation could be tackled, travels to meet Nigeria’s newly politically engaged comedians, and asks, controversially: could Brexit make Britain beautiful?

This issue will prime you with the stories to defy the gloom

Alongside Brand, another key interviewee in the magazine is Bjorn Ihler, who survived the horrific Utøya mass shooting in Norway in 2011 while many of his friends did not. He now travels the world in a bid to understand terrorists. Positive News also sits down with Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who says “impossible is not a fact, it’s an attitude” when it comes to saving the planet, pointing to how progress in tackling climate change is now growing exponentially on many fronts.

Positive News editor Lucy Purdy said: “As Sorrel Lyall, one of the inspiring young conservationists we meet in this issue told me: ‘reading about climate change doesn’t make me want to give up. It makes me want to do something.’ Positive News has always celebrated the people who are doing something about the problems focused on by much of the media. If you find yourself caught in too many cynical conversations, I hope that this issue will prime you with the stories to defy the gloom.”

The new issue of Positive News magazine will be the first to be sold in WHSmith shops nationwide; an important milestone in the history of Positive News. Having started in 1993 as a free newspaper, the publication relaunched as a magazine in 2016 after it became the first global media co-operative created through crowdfunding. Copies of the new issue will hit the shelves in a selection of WHSmith shops up and down the country from Friday 19 January, while subscribers have received their magazines today – many taking to social media to celebrate the issue.

To receive your copy of the magazine, subscribe here


Discover the good news that matters.

Subscribe to Positive News, the inspiring current affairs magazine


We can't publish Positive News without you. Please join the growing number of people who are supporting our independent, inspiring journalism.Support Positive News