Haunted Victors: Anthony Bourdain and the Inescapability of a Troubled Mind

The Occurrence of Suicide in Recovering Addict Celebrities

Aaron DeBee

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It was one of the most inspiring recovery stories to date. Anthony Bourdain, celebrated media personality, best selling author, world traveler, and culinary icon accomplished it all after overcoming his battle with heroine addiction. He’d found his way, righted the ship, and the transformation was glorious.

Substance abuse and addiction sweep the nation like a plague. The numbers associated with the heroin epidemic are staggering and monumentally disheartening. Small rural towns, once renowned for their quiet innocence, have become some of the most heated breeding grounds for chemical misuse and dependency. The masses hunger for heroes.

“It’s hard to deny that there is a pattern emerging.”

Throngs of parents feel lost, helpless, hopeless, unable to protect the children they love from the dark gravitational pull of escapism by substance. Every premature obituary elicits another cringe; every grieving parent interview catches in our throats. We crave success stories. We need someone to tell us it will be okay. Someone please tell us there’s a way out.

We can’t blame ourselves for glorifying celebrity addiction recovery stories. They’re the light to which we need to point. If great success can be achieved in the aftermath of addiction, perhaps it can serve as a motivation for those still struggling. For an addict, few things hold the level of appeal they find in their chosen substance, so we cling desperately to the potential suggested by demonstrated recovery period fame and fortune.

We also abandon recognition of the problem for relief of the symptoms. We pretend that celebrities who’ve stopped using drugs and alcohol to battle their inner demons have somehow been exorcised of said demons. If Chester Bennington isn’t drinking anymore, he must be okay, right? The ’80s are over, and Robin Williams isn’t coked out of his gourd anymore; problem solved.

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Aaron DeBee

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Editor, veteran, Top Rated on Upwork, former Medium Top Writer in Humor, Feminism, Culture, Sports, NFL, etc.