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Inside Anthony Bourdain's dark battle with heroin and crack cocaine: 'I should have died in my 20s'

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  • Inside Anthony Bourdain's dark battle with heroin and crack cocaine: 'I should have died in my 20s'

    Anthony Boudain was a much-celebrated TV chef with a love of straight-talking and hard boozing.

    But before finding fame and success, the award-winning author and TV star was locked in a dark battle with drug addiction - a battle he thought would kill him.

    "I was an unhappy soul, with a huge heroin and then crack problem," he told the Guardian last year, having once admitted he 'should have died in his 20s.'

    "I hurt, disappointed and offended many, many, many people and I regret a lot. It’s a shame I have to live with," he continued.

    Describing his 20-something self as "selfish, larcenous, druggy, loud, stupid, insensitive and someone you would not want to have known," in a reddit AMA chat the late star admitted, "I would have robbed your medicine cabinet had I been invited to your house."

    At his lowest ebb, the troubled Kitchen Confidential author - who was dating actress Asia Argento, said he would "comb the shag carpet for paint chips in the hope that they were fallen crack bits, smoking them anyway."

    And at the age of 44, he admitted that every night he went to sleep 'in mortal terror' because his cash flow problems were so severe.

    Anthony Bourdain dead aged 61 - celebrity chef found in hotel room after apparent suicide

    He overcame drug addiction in the 80s

    "I was in horrible, endless, irrevocable debt. I had no health insurance. I didn't pay my taxes. I couldn't pay my rent," he told Biography.

    "It was a nightmare, but it's all been different for about 15 years. If it looks like my life is comfortable, well, that's a very new thing for me."

    He finally managed to get clean in the 80s, kicking drugs but continuing to drink.

    "Most people who kick heroin and cocaine have to give up on everything. Maybe cause my experiences were so awful in the end, I've never been tempted to relapse," he explained.

    However, he had rules in place such as no drinking in the house, telling Men's Journal, "You see me drink myself stupid on my show all the time. And I have a lot of fun doing that. But I'm not sitting at home having a cocktail. Never, ever. I don't ever drink in my house."

    He was found dead in his hotel room

    And after years of self-reflection, last year he admitted he regretted having been so nasty to his colleagues and juniors.

    "I’m proud that in the last few years as a professional chef, however upset I was with staff, we’d still be able to have a beer together at the end of the night, without ill-will," he said, insisting he's learned to "put aside my psychotic rage" after "years (of) being awful to line cooks, abusive to waiters, bullying to dishwashers."

    "It’s terrible – and counter-productive – to make people feel idiots for working hard for you," he added. "Nowadays I still have a rather withering ability to be sarcastic and displeased but I’m not screaming at anyone."

    But despite his personal growth, the talented chef was found dead in his hotel room in Strasbourg on June 8 by close friend Eric Ripert, the executive chef of New York's Le Bernardin restaurant. He was just 61.

    He was in a relationship with Asia Argento(Image:

    He had been working on CNN series Parts Unknown, and in a statement confirming his death, the network paid tribute to the one-of-a-kind star.

    "It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," the rep said.

    "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller.

    "His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family.
    Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers.

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    I do my best to educate myself regarding addiction and recovery related issue, treatment options, etc. however, I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and any advice you take from me is at your own risk and discretion

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