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Friday, 8 June 2018


Heroin, depression and getting sober: Anthony Bourdain open about battling demons

The news of Anthony Bourdain’s apparent suicide has rocked the entertainment and culinary worlds.
The chef-turned-TV host was found dead in his hotel room in France where he was filming his hit CNN show, Parts Unknown. He was 61 and leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter.
While circumstances around his passing are unclear, an untimely death is something the acclaimed author had discussed throughout the years, given his openness about substance abuse and his struggle to get clean nearly three decades ago.
“Drugs and addiction are two different things,” he reflected to in 2016.
“All I can tell you is this: I got off of heroin in the 1980s. Friends of mine from the ’70s and ’80s, they just got off five, six, maybe 10 years ago. And we’re the lucky ones. We made it out alive. There are a lot of guys that didn’t get that far. But you know, I also don’t have that many regrets either,” he said.
“Look, man, the only thing that matters is life or death. That’s the edge. Embarrassment, shame, humiliation, I can live with those. I’m used to it. Why hang onto it, though?”
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Anthony Bourdain died at the age of 61. Source: Yahoo
Bourdain wasn’t quick to label his life “charmed.”
“I don’t know about ‘charmed.’ But I’m still here  — on my third life, or maybe fourth. Who knows? I should’ve died in my 20s,” he said.
“I became successful in my 40s. I became a dad in my 50s. I feel like I’ve stolen a car — a really nice car — and I keep looking in the rearview mirror for flashing lights. But there’s been nothing yet.”
Bourdain was working as the executive chef at Les Halles in 2000 when he published his memoir, Kitchen Confidential that changed everything.
He was never shy about discussing his past drug use — something that was rampant in his world.
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Anthony Bourdain and his girlfriend Asia Argento. Source: AFP
He first dabbled with drugs in high school when he fell in love with an older girl, Nancy Putkoski. He followed her to Vassar College in 1973 — before dropping out after two years and enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America — and the two wed in 1985. The marriage ended in 2005.
“That kind of love and codependency and sense of adventure — we were criminals together,” he said in a New Yorker profile last year.
“A lot of our life was built around that, and happily so.”
Bourdain told the publication that he bought his first bag of heroin on Rivington Street in 1980.
“When I started getting symptoms of withdrawal, I was proud of myself,” he stated.
But that grew thin.
“Getting ripped off, running from the cops,” he recalled.
“I’m a vain person. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror.”
Bourdain switched to methadone, but quit cold turkey around 1987 after getting over it. Then he spent several years addicted to cocaine.
“I just bottomed out on crack,” he told the New Yorker.
It was so bad that sometimes between fixes, he would dig paint chips out of the carpet in his apartment and attempt to smoke them on the off chance that they were pebbles of crack.
Bourdain recalled an instance when he was riding in a taxi with three friends after getting heroin on the Lower East Side.
He was telling them about an article he read on the statistical likelihood of getting off drugs.
“Only one in four has a chance at making it,” he told them.
In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain wrote that he made it and his friends had not.

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