Anthony Bourdain Knows Who to Blame for America's Opioid Addiction

Courtesy of CNN
Highlights from a new interview.

Who's to blame for America's heroin problem? Pharmaceutical companies, says Anthony Bourdain in a new interview with GQ.

"These pharmaceutical-company executives are dope dealers, and they should be treated worse and more roughly than dope dealers," says Bourdain, who dedicated a 2014 episode of his CNN show Parts Unknown to discussing rural America's opioid and heroin addiction. Bourdain has spoken openly in the past about his own history of drug addiction.

"If you're pumping in millions of highly addictive narcotic pills to one tiny little town... you know what you're doing," he says of the industry, which many consider to be under-regulated. "Billionaire and millionaire executives at pharmaceutical companies" should be frog-marched "out of their door in suburbia, handcuffed and surrounded by DEA officers, with their children and neighbors watching" to send a message and begin the process of "some real behavioral change," he says.

Bourdain also discusses how he's kept his professional edge and build a close-knit inner circle over the years. "It is truly a privilege to live by what I call the 'no asshole' rule. I don't do business with assholes. I don't care how much money they are offering me, or what project," he says.

As for his dining pet peeves, Bourdain notes that fancy, farm-to-table restaurants with overexplained ingredients are definitely not his thing. "It intrudes on my meal. I like to eat like a child, in an emotional way," he says. "I don't like to overanalyze. I don't like my food explained with tasting notes. I want to sit down, get a couple of beers, get a buzz, and enjoy my meal."

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