"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.
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"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.