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Russell Brand wants help for Justin Bieber after Philip Seymour Hoffman's death

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Feb 07, 2014 | 3:46am EST

Russell Brand has urged critics to ease up on troubled young star Justin Bieber following the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The British funnyman, who is a former drug addict, has written a candid piece on addiction in the aftermath of Hoffman's passing over the weekend (01-02Feb14) following a suspected heroin overdose. Brand cites Bieber as an example of a young star who could easily fall into the trap of drug troubles, and insists addicts need help not criticism in order to survive. In an article for Britain's The Guardian, he writes, "Philip Seymour Hoffman's death was not on the bill. If it'd been the sacrifice of Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber, that we are invited to anticipate daily, we could delight in the Faustian justice of the righteous dispatch of a fast-living, sequin-spattered denizen of eMpTyV (bad music TV)... We are tacitly instructed to await their demise with necrophilic sanctimony. When the end comes... it will be deserved... When we reflect on Bieber's Louis Vuitton embossed, Lamborghini cortege it is easy to equate addiction with indulgence and immorality. The great actor (Hoffman) dying alone denies us this required narrative prang." Brand goes on to add, "The reason I am so non-judgmental of Hoffman or Bieber and so condemnatory of the pop cultural tinsel... is that I am a drug addict in recovery, so like any drug addict I know exactly how Hoffman felt when he 'went back out'... What it also clearly demonstrates is that we are a culture that does not know how to treat its addicts. Would Hoffman have died if this disease were not so enmeshed in stigma?... "The troubling message behind Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, which we all feel without articulating, is that it was unnecessary and we know that something could be done." Bieber recently found himself in the headlines when he was arrested for driving under the influence in Florida. Officials reportedly found marijuana and prescription drug Xanax in his system.

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