Russell Brand has said "love and compassion" and abstinence-based recovery are the key to weaning addicts off drugs.
The actor and comedian spoke before a parliamentary committee about his own experience of addiction, and said society should not "discard people, write them off on methadone and leave them on the sidelines".
During a 30-minute appearance – in which he addressed the MPs as “mate”– the Arthur star told the Home Affairs select committee he believed drugs should be decriminalised, with addiction treated as a potentially fatal illness instead.
He said: "I'm not a legal expert. I'm saying that, to a drug addict, the legal aspect is irrelevant. If you need to get drugs, you will.
"The criminal and legal status, I think, sends the wrong message. Being arrested isn't a lesson, it's just an administrative blip."
Photo: © Getty