Russell Brand turned to drugs because he felt ''lonely''.

The British comedian - who has been sober since 2003 - admits thought heroin was ''beautiful'' when he first tried it and took illegal substances because he ''couldn't cope'' with his life.

He said: ''When I took drugs I felt lonely, alienated and disconnected. I felt that this culture isn't serving me. When I took heroin for the first time it was beautiful. It was a personal problem - I couldn't cope with being alive, I needed to take drugs.''

However, the 38-year-old star - who was previously married to Katy Perry - insists staying away from drugs has been good for his whole family.

He explained: ''My mother's life is better now.''

Russell was speaking at elite Cambridge University's union on Monday night (13.01.14) and urged the students - who he jokingly called '''Harry Potter' p***fs'' - to be ''spiritual''.

He told them: ''Don't be materialistic; it doesn't help, just develop spiritually. I try to find union with everything.''

He then urged the students to use their education for the good of society.

He said: ''Give us something to vote for then we will vote for it.

''Give us a system that is truly representative.

''Use this education that you are receiving to bring about ideas that can benefit not just you but all of us.''