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Chef Andrew Zimmern reveals traumatic moment that pushed him toward addiction

American chef and food writer Andrew Zimmern has made another confession about his mental health. After publicizing his struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism in the past, he has now revealed the event that led to his “self-destruction.” In a recent interview with “People Now,” the Bizarre Foods host visited his troubled adolescence when he was 13. It was a traumatic time for him. His parents were separated some six years ago. He was living with his mother, who was in a state of coma after suffering an accident during surgery. Though his mother recovered up to some extent, she had been in and out of mental rehabs before breathing her last in 2011.

The traumatic event led Zimmern to the dangerous path of drugs and alcohol, which continued to bother him throughout his teens and early 20s. “I was functional — I graduated high school; I was functional — I graduated college,” he said. He faced three suspensions and had frequent stints in jail and hospital while studying in Vassar College. His problems did not subside even after graduation. “Post-college, the stories weren’t ‘Oh, you were so funny last night,’ it was like ‘Oh my God, you can’t do that.’ And then you start to lose people,” he recalled.

Soon, the Travel Channel star was homeless. As if it was not enough, he started stealing to feed his drug habit. But it was the last of his miseries and he was about to take a U-turn to a better life. He remembered the life-changing incident when he stole some jewelry from his godmother and sold it for money. He paid $200 for a room for a month at a flophouse hotel. He tried to drink himself to death, but it didn’t work.

After days of black out, he finally saw the light. “I did something that I hadn’t done in 15 years which is reach out to somebody to ask for help…Four days later, I had a one-way ticket to a treatment center in Minnesota,” he narrated his journey to recovery. The days of miseries are now over for the celebrity chef, who resides in Minnesota with his wife Rishia Haas and their son Noah. Zimmern, who is sober for nearly 26 years now, enjoys a life full of health and happiness. And, this is all because he chose sobriety over addiction.

Alcoholism a major concern in America

More than 50 percent of Americans aged 12 or older (136.7 million people) were current alcohol users in 2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Alcohol was the most prevalent substance of abuse among adolescents, with 2.3 million (9.2 percent) youths aged 12 to 17 years reporting alcohol consumption in the past month in 2016. The prevalence of alcohol consumption was highest among 18 to 25-year-olds, with 57.1 percent of young adults (about 19.8 million) reporting current alcohol use.

In 2016, around 65.3 million people aged 12 or older took to binge drinkiing in the past 30 days, which corresponds to about one in four people in the same age group. Furthermore, nearly 4.9 percent adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years (1.2 million) were binge drinkers in the past month. Among young adults aged 18 to 25, an estimated 38.4 percent were binge alcohol users in the past month, amounting to about 13.3 million people.

Seeking treatment for alcohol addiction

Though the government is taking effective measures to deal with the alcohol addiction crisis, it is important for people with alcoholism to show will power to lead a sober life. And seeking treatment can be the first step toward leading a healthy life. Contact the 24/7 Recovery Helpline, which can help you find one of the renowned inpatient alcohol rehab centers in the U.S. Call at our 24/7 helpline number (855) 441-4405 or chat online to know more about the best inpatient alcohol treatment center in your vicinity.

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