Russell Brand has debuted a new tattoo that is actually taken from a prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi. Recovering addicts often recite the prayer in meetings as a way to connect to a higher power and remain focused on their goal to stay clean. Brand is a recovering addict who has been sober for 10 years.
"Heroin is a greedy drug; it'll take everything. First, it'll take your money. Then it'll take your friends, your family, your car, your house," Brand said in a new documentary scheduled to air on the BBC. The documentary, "Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery," will feature the star's struggle to get clean and his transformation from addict to advocate.
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy," reads the prayer attributed to Assisi.
A version of the prayer is found in the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" book used by Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a popular prayer, and now Brand has the first verse, "Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace" on his forearm. Is it a reminder of his commitment to stay sober?
Brand has transformed from an addict to an advocate for drug users. In April, he testified before British Parliament about his history of addiction and the need for human compassion. "It's more important that we regard people's suffering from addiction with compassion," he said.
"If you have the illness or disease of addiction or alcoholism, the best way to tackle it is not use drugs in any form whether it is state-sponsored opus like methadone or illegal street drugs. It wasn't until I had access to abstinence-based recovery that I was able to change my behavior and significantly reduce, all but obliterate my criminal activity, apart from the occasional skirmish," Brand testified.