Return to Transcripts main page

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown

Parts Unknown: Massachusetts

Aired February 20, 2015 - 22:00   ET


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST: This is where I bought my first bag of heroin. It was 1980. I was 24 years old. But in a lot of ways, my whole life up to that point was leading to this address. Western Massachusetts, the unlikely new frontier of America's war on drugs, where heroin has become an exploding problem that's begun to touch nearly every family.

There's nothing like the North Atlantic. It's majestic. I love the beach. Pretty much had my first everything on a beach. You name it, first time I did it, beach. I was miserable in love, happy in love, alternately, as only a 17-year-old could be. This is where I lived. Very happy summer in the early 70s, and that was my room on the left. It's an amazing spot if you think about it, a bunch of knuckleheads working as dishwashers, waiters, pizza servers. And, you know, we could work on a beach like this. You know, happier, stupider times.

You know, I can still hear the play list, Strawberry Letter and the Brothers Johnson. If you put on Marvin Gaye right now, I'd burst into tears. What do you do? You're young, you go to the beach, you know, you get laid, and you get high.

It was here, all the way out at the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown, Massachusetts, where the pilgrims first landed. And it was where I first landed.

1972, washed in a town with a headful of orange sunshine and a few friends. Provincetown, a wonderland of tolerance, long time tradition of accepting artists, writers, the badly behaved, the gay, the different. It was paradise.

The joy that can only come with an absolute certainty that you're invincible, that none of the choices that you make will have any repercussions or any effect on your later life. Because we didn't think about those things. I don't even know what I thought I was going to be. At that point, I certainly didn't think I was going to be a cook. I don't know what I thought I was going to be. I was just, you know, hanging out in a beautiful place.

A golden time. I look back on those fuzzy memories, and they seem golden anyway. Oh, there's John Waters, first love and there's me. This guy, Johnny Yingling, was sort of a sinful figure in all of our lives.

JOHN YINGLING, SPIRITUS PIZZA: Well, my name is John Yingling, and this is Spiritus Pizza. It's been here since 1971. This town is everything to me. Provincetown is a really special place, where people can be themselves.

We all did drugs, acted young and crazy, and Tony was -- he was probably a little wilder than some and not as wild as others. But he was always the guy who I always liked.

BOURDAIN: And you let me sleep on top of the walk-in.

YINGLING: Right. I actually remember that.

BOURDAIN: At Spiritus.

I cannot tell you how frequently I dream about Spiritus Pizza. I'm walking down Commercial Street, and I'm sort of dimly aware that Spiritus has moved, and there's a sense of dislocation and a loss as I stumble around this sort of Provincetown dreamscape of 40 years ago. I was still here and living in hope. Cheers. Unbelievable.

Many of the old places in P-town are gone. But the lobster pot is still going strong, all these years later, and still has what I want and need. The essentials.

My friends worked in the kitchen here, starting the tradition among my set that cooking work was noble toil. At that point, I never intended a career as a chef.

YINGLING: It's great to be a cook.

BOURDAIN: I was getting to that. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is homemade Portuguese kale soup, made on the premises.

BOURDAIN: It's been a long time, thank you.


BOURDAIN: Portuguese soup, a P-town version of the Azorean caldo verde, and just what I remembered. Kale, fiery red chorizo, linguica, kidney beans, potatoes.

Oh, I missed you. I missed you bad.

And that was precisely what I loved about the food here. The Portuguese thing, dishes like this stuffed cod crusted with ground Portuguese sausage, bread crumbs, stuffed with scallop and crab. Some sherry, red sauce.

I hadn't been working for a while, I was a deadbeat. I mean, I was, you know, scarfing for everybody else. And Nancy Poole (ph) gets home from work and says, our dishwasher didn't show up today. You are our new dishwasher. And I said, oh, really? And the next day I put on the apron and I didn't take it off for 30 years. I'd wake up, all of us would go to the beach, hang out on the beach until like 2:00 to 3:00.

YINGLING: Yes, it was fun. BOURDAIN: Roll into work. Work all night. Drinking, getting high, drilling out food. You have got all the food you wanted, all the liquor you wanted?

YINGLING: All the sex you wanted.

BOURDAIN: All the sex you wanted.

YINGLING: It was true, it was fun.

BOURDAIN: And yet it was still an essential part of the economy.

YINGLING: It was a lot of fun, believe me, I remember.

BOURDAIN: The flagship, it's where my cooking career started. Where I started washing dishes, where I started have pretensions of culinary grandeur.

It would seem like a good gig for anybody. Who else got to live like that during that time? You had to sort of being in a band, here we were, you know, we were a dishwashers.

YINGLING: You started to get a little older and you get a little more sense and you realize that like, you know, you got to like pace yourself a little bit.

BOURDAIN: Otherwise, we still wouldn't be here. Well, you know, many of our friends from those days didn't make it.

YINGLING: Many of my friends are dead, yes.

BOURDAIN: Keep drinking, keep drinking. Thank you.


BOURDAIN: This place has been here forever. That used to be the back room.

YINGLING: Back room's still there.

BOURDAIN: See it's all falling into place again.

YINGLING: Yes. It's not that much different.

BOURDAIN: It's early spring now, but come Memorial Day, it gets crazy around here, and doesn't stop until Labor Day. Provincetown was always gay-friendly, in my time and way, way before my time. And this place, the Atlantic House, known always and forever by locals and visitors alike as the A House, is America's oldest operating gay bar. Everybody has come through these doors, so to speak. Most notably, naked and frolicking Tennessee Williams.

YINGLING: Is the floor still shaking or is...


YINGLING: That's really too bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody got seasick and started tripping. Now that (inaudible) they all (inaudible) cocktails so I can get my sea (inaudible) back.

YINGLING: Oh really?


BOURDAIN: April Cabral (ph) owns the joint now, taking over for her father, the legendary Reggie Cabral, a forward-thinking dude is there ever was one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was built in 1798.

BOURDAIN: How long in the family? In your family?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Over 75 years. My father during that time, he had Billy Holiday appeared, he had Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, all the big names of jazz.

BOURDAIN: How has town changed? Has it changed?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I think tremendously. Gay lifestyle is much more accepted.

BOURDAIN: Okay, 1972, my feeling was that this was a gay town, and that I was here at the pleasure of, you know, somebody else, which is sort of the opposite of everywhere outside of here at that time.


BOURDAIN: This was a largely Catholic, Portuguese, conservative fishing community, but it was also known as Hell Town.

YINGLING: It was Hell Town, there's where the puritans sent their rejects. Right out here.

BOURDAIN: Right. Farther out...


BOURDAIN: Farther out on the (inaudible).

YINGLING: Not kidding. Provincetown always had the mixture really of the Bohemian people and the fishermen, the pirates, the writers, the drunks, all that.

BOURDAIN: Anyone who had a lifestyle outside the mainstream was welcome here pretty much.

YINGLING: Whatever floats your boat, you know. It's all good.


BOURDAIN: Over a century ago, Provincetown was a hard working fishing village with multigenerational families of fishermen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name's Bo Griven (ph). My father fished, and I was pretty much raised here my whole life, where I'm from. This is who I am. But it used to be like two out of three families in this town, in this community, were fishing families. Most of them are now gone. And we're really like a minority. Used to be a fishing community with a homosexual problem, now it's a homosexual community with a fishing problem.

BOURDAIN: The first Portuguese fishermen arrived here in 1840. The main families created a community built around fishing, and this town lived off that industry well into the 20th century. It persisted even when I was here, keeping up old Catholic fishing traditions like the blessing of the fleet. These days, however, there are fewer and fewer boats to bless.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name's Scott Roe (ph), I'm a commercial fishermen. Sea scallops, fourth generation. I started when I was five. It was cool back then. There were like 70, 80 boats here, there were five or six feet, now it's just down to like seven or eight. Now I'm wicked proud of my heritage and I would never do anything else. This is my office, man, look at it. I'm going to do this until I can't move anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were all on the town like clockwork, 2:30, 3:00 in the morning, it's quiet. The town's been ripped up all night long. We come down here, hit the water. What could be better?

BOURDAIN: About good time of the year to be here, and nice weather today.


BOURDAIN: Doing good.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Might be a little nautical. A little bit.

BOURDAIN: I'm sure I'll be fine, I've watched "The Deadliest Catch." So...


BOURDAIN: I'm ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time to press the fun button.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Used to be this was the best thing in the world. The greatest thing about fishing was, you were kind of like a cowboy, you're like a pioneer, you could go out and fish hard as you could push, competition was welcome. We were fiercely independent. Independence is like little by little by little taken away.

BOURDAIN: Is there a limited number of stuff out there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, there's a total allowable catch. We're on a 600 pound trip right now.

BOURDAIN: And the payout ain't much. Do the math, a good day of scalloping brings in, say, 9,000 bucks. From that 9,000, take away 3,000 for the lease, 1,000 for fuel, and split the remainder amongst the crew. And on top of that, fishing is really just a crap shoot. Many days, there's simply nothing to catch.

BOURDAIN: So why the are you doing this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's still -- we love to do it.

Like for us, we say it all turns to ship when we come around the break water. Once we get out to there, we feel like we're at home.

BOURDAIN: Like I said, it ain't easy. Today, according to Bo, Scott, and Zeb, this was just a little breeze.

How rough does it have to be when you look out and say I'm not going out today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It starts like blowing like 30, 35. We like days like this because the competition stays in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad used to say if you're staying dry, you're not making any money. We're fishing.

BOURDAIN: So (inaudible) snap, until flying back, knock your head off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not too often. No.

BOURDAIN: I hate when that happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, it's a bummer. In the summer, you'd be able to smell the coconut, another big trick we have, because now the guys decided they like this part of the beach, right? So they're all out here nude sunbathing. So I pick up my glasses and I tell them, wow, look at the breasts on that girl. And you give it to them and they see something they weren't expecting to see. Works every time, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't believe it didn't cook nothing.

I can't believe it, man.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got Anthony Bourdain on deck and we don't have even anything to eat. The best part of it, the anticipation to see what's in there. Oh every time. I'm like, I just can't wait. You're like, look and you're like what's going to be in there? What's going to be in there? Sometimes it's a disappointment. But a lot of times, it's disappointment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many did we get?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, we're out. That's why it's fishing and not catching.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to taste all that much better.

BOURDAIN: This place was -- has been here forever when I rolled into town. How long has that place been open?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a long time.

I think this is the only place in town that's unchanged.

BOURDAIN: These paintings are customized?


BOURDAIN: How long do I have to drink here to get my face up there? 40 years?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Couple more years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, at least.

BOURDAIN: Back when I worked in town for fishermen, there was the Folksel (ph), Cookie's Tap Room (ph), and this place. The Old Colony. Of the three, it's the only one left.


BOURDAIN: Oh, wait a minute, I recognize these. You guys eat scallops?


BOURDAIN: As brawny, hard working men of the sea, we deserve these beers, these finest of all oysters, the Wellfleets.


BOURDAIN: Finest oysters known to man. These are fantastic. Wow, what a treat. Is there going to be a next generation of fishermen in the family? What happens after you guys? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next generation of fishermen that are like coming on to our boats, they're opportunist for the income, it's not for the love of being on the water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the end. The fishing is going to die. Cheers.

BOURDAIN: All right. Thank you, guys.


BOURDAIN: This is going to end badly.



BOURDAIN: This is a nice house. Man, it just feels like I never left in a lot of ways. But it was 40 years later almost. And that was the Sodom and Gomorra by the sea over there, you know, a big candy store for horny, stupid, 17-year-olds with a taste for chemicals. You know, I was an angry young man. What the hell was so I angry about? It came as a rude surprise to me when I turned 30 because I always sort of figured I'd be dead by then.

I was still quite some time away from my first bag of heroin, but, you know, in a lot of ways, it was a foregone conclusion. My whole life was sort of leading up to that point. To my first bag of dope.


BOURDAIN: I left Provincetown with restaurant experience, a suntan, and an ever deepening relationship with recreational drugs. I went to culinary school, then to New York City, and never returned. Today however, I'm staying in Massachusetts, heading over to the western part of the state, one of the most beautiful areas of the country. The gorgeous mill towns, Victorian houses, deeply felt famously upright New England values, Norman Rockwell America, where something really inexplicable and unexpected has happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New England is a new Mecca for heroin use.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emergency room emissions, overdose (inaudible) were law enforcement area dealing with crimes where -- but never had before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Detectives are working around the clock. Dealers are making a killing.

BOURDAIN: Not New York or Baltimore or L.A. or Chicago, but rural towns like this one are now statistically ground zero for the heroin epidemic.

What the hell happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next couple years, of this heroin use trend continues to grow, it may be beyond getting a handle on. I'm a detective with the Greenfield Police Department here, and my focus is undercover a narcotic investigations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a well-known area to us, and very active.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heroin use in the past year, it's just increased to a level I've never seen any other drug come into an area. People who are in it are all going to be affected. It hasn't topped out yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone you have known, someone you went to school with, someone you work with.

BOURDAIN: So Sonny Crockett gets a Ferrari. What's wrong with this picture?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tried the Lexus, but they said no way. So I got this one.

BOURDAIN: It's been reported in the national papers there's been an explosion of heroin use, heroin-related crimes, overdoses. How does that happen?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think once this area realized we had a heroin problem, we were already behind it, trying to play catch-up. We are on the 91 corridor. Route 91 has been dubbed the heroin highway at this point. It's a widely used road to go north and south. There's opportunists here and for low money input, they're getting a high profit. That's the typical heroin packaging. There'll be bundles of ten, 50 bags here.

BOURDAIN: So 60 to 80 bucks for 10.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can charge what they want. It's all supply and demand.

BOURDAIN: One dose per for most people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They'll do multiple bags, anywhere from three to five bags at a time, up to 30 bags a day. And the current economics of the town, I am the only one assigned to the narcotics position.

BOURDAIN: How many heroin addicts you think are walking the streets of Greenfield right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to say we're in the high hundreds.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in the high hundreds.

BOURDAIN: High hundreds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hitting every age group, economic household, it's out there.

BOURDAIN: We don't have Creeps and Bloods taking over motel rooms. The person selling you dope more likely to be familiar than a stranger?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to meet a past distributor, I've known for several years.

BOURDAIN: We meet Carmen, as we'll call her, a powerful local heroin dealer turned paid confidential police informant, out in the woods.

How'd you get into the business initially?

CARMEN: I needed the money. I needed to support my family. Couldn't get a job.

BOURDAIN: How easy was it to get into the dope business?

CARMEN: Not hard at all. Because it's cheap.

BOURDAIN: Was there money in it?

CARMEN: Oh, hell yes. Yes, hell yes.

BOURDAIN: It's like Mayberry out here from looking around. I mean, who's using heroin now? I mean...




BOURDAIN: Today's heroin epidemic is different than the one that raged through America in the 1970s, in a few significant ways. Back then, heroin was mostly seen as a poor people problem, somebody else's problem. The sort of thing that musicians and criminals got into, marginal people, far from the white Main Streets of Mayberry, USA. What those people did to themselves, well, it was unfortunate, but not our problem. Until somebody broke into your house.

Today, it's absolutely the reverse. The new addicts are almost entirely white, middle class, and from towns and areas like this.

How do you think you make it better?

CARMEN: You don't.

BOURDAIN: Whoa. You don't?

CARMEN: No. There's going to be more robberies, there's going to be more killings. Take one person off the street, there are two more come in.

BOURDAIN: How many customers do you have?

CARMEN: Practically all of Greenfield.

BOURDAIN: What happened? How did the kid next door, along with mom, pop, and grandma too, become users of hard-core illegal narcotic drugs, the worst drug, with the worst reputation? Well, maybe start here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you found the right doctor and have told him or her about your pain, don't be afraid to take what they give you. Often, it will be an opioid medication.

BOURDAIN: Here's a 1996 promotional video from the fine folks at Purdue Pharmaceuticals. Sent around to doctors, it encouraged them to prescribe the latest, newest, more wonderful drug for long-term pain management, OxyContin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some patients may be afraid of taking opioids because they're perceived at too strong or addictive. But that's far from actual fact. Less than 1 percent of patients taking opioids actually become addicted.

BOURDAIN: Sales of OxyContin, initially and falsely proclaimed as not addictive -- absolutely skyrocketed, from $45 million in 1996 to $3.1 billion in 2010. That same year, Purdue tweaked the way they were making Oxy in an attempt to, they said, limit its addictive qualities.

Finally, the government and law enforcement took a harsh look at the drug, and it became much harder to get legally, which sucked for the thousands and thousands who by now had a serious habit.

RUTH POTEE: I am Ruth Potee, a family physician in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and I grew up here. My dad was actually a small town doctor out here. I'm a total generalist, but for the last four, four and a half years, a larger part of my practice has been focused on addiction to opioids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got put on pain medication. Then when they started disappearing, everybody else is doing it.

POTEE: The heroin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I can get a bag of heroin easier than I can get a joint.

POTEE: Once they start, they just slip down that rabbit hole, and, you know, maybe they make it out. That's our goal is to get them out and to live healthy again. We've really in our own way created this mess we're in now.

BOURDAIN: In downtown Greenfield, the People's Pint, an ecoconscious, local locavorian pub that brews its own beer, uses only farm fresh ingredients, and composts its leftovers. It's where I meet up with Dr. Potee for dinner.

BOURDAIN: I guess my first question is, who's doing dope?

POTEE: Everybody starts with the pills. There's nobody...

BOURDAIN: Everybody.

POTEE: Everybody starts with pills. There's nobody who goes from marijuana to heroin. There's an in-between step. Always pills, it's pills that people get from their doctor. From me. Particularly the young people. Had an injury, a sports-related injury, had their wisdom teeth out, and they felt awesome on the drug, and they were like how can I get more of that? After three to six months of looking for more of that, they couldn't find it, and then they jumped.

BOURDAIN: Is it big pharma's fault? Is it doctors' fault? It is -- who made a mistake here?

POTEE: I think it's complicated. I'm not going to say there's one entity here that's responsible, but there was a lot of money to be made by promoting the treatment of pain to the highest level. Big pharma made a lot of money on this.

And I was taught in residency, you give people as much pain medicine as they need. You get them out of pain, we'll judge your hospital, we'll judge your emergency room based on your pain scores. That's how we were taught. And we were also told these medicines aren't all that addictive. We started handing out pills like crazy.

100 million Americans have chronic pain. So we did a disservice as doctors and as prescribers, like we took data that was (inaudible), right, and then we went forth with it and said, oh, prescribe it to everyone, they won't get addicted. We know what we're doing. Guess what? We didn't know what we were doing.


BOURDAIN: A few miles down the road from Greenfield of Shellburn Falls. The good old days that everyone used to talk about back when I was a kid. Sundays, church and picnics. Saturday nights, Sox games, beer, and bowling. The Shellburn Falls bowling alley is where time seems anyway to have stopped.

First opened in 1906, this is the second oldest bowling alley in America. Dedicated to old school New England-style candle pin bowling. The holy rollers, the crowd of septuagenarians who grew up in Shellburn and plan, and this is a reasonable expectation to kick my ass. They've been playing here since the 50s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was never allowed to come near the bowling alley.

BOURDAIN: Really, this was the den of inequity?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was -- my aunt did not think, this was a good idea.

BOURDAIN: Man, it's a tiny little ball. This looks really hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very different, Shellburn Falls. I grew up here. Very different. People don't know each other as well as everyone used to know each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I grew up in Greenfield, everybody had jobs. I worked from the time I was 13. If I had to go back there now, I don't believe in drugs, I don't have anything to do with them, but, what choice would I have? Standing on the corner, I would probably get into a business. What's a good business? Well-paying business? I'm sorry. That's who we are.

BOURDAIN: Yes, it used to be a very different world, towns like this one. And there were many. But like everywhere else, it seems the mills, the factories closed down, and with them a certain kind of social contract with the people who worked there.

ED GREGORY: My name is Ed Gregory, originally from Terrence Falls (ph), born and brought up here, born in 1945. My father was an employee of this draft mill, as was my grandfather.

During the hay day, there were three paper mills, a cotton mill, a silk mill, a foundry, we're just a beehive of activity here.

BOURDAIN: Back then, a company town like this, the company actually took care of you. They built and provided homes for their employees. Schools. The river provided energy. The company provided nearly everything else.

GREGORY: The hay day is gone. People are definitely struggling to find work. The town just kind of died during the '80s.

When the folks came to work, they were immigrants.

BOURDAIN: Attracted by the manufacturing here.

GREGORY: Correct. Made it a possibility of owning a home in a real decent part of the county here.

So my father was here, a millwright. A millwright's job is a jack of all trades, if you will. If there was something that needed to be repaired.

BOURDAIN: Do you even worked in a mill and live in a nice home, send your kids to school, make a living, all on a mill salary.

GREGORY: You bet.

BOURDAIN: It's unthinkable now almost. What happened to the business?

GREGORY: Things are going to other countries, but not coming back to the United States.

BOURDAIN: This town became redundant?

GREGORY: Correct.

BOURDAIN: Again and again all over the country, I keep running into situations like this. Where industry has died or fled or simply relocated. I meet people like Charles Garbel (ph), hometown heroes who for some reason that they can probably go anywhere, take their skills and return to where they grew up. Shady Glenn Diner. Today's special, a tribute to the old European immigrant culture of the area, the New England boiled dinner. So I hear rumors of corned beef and cabbage, is that right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. We do -- Every week we do a corned beef and cabbage dinner.

BOURDAIN: Slowly cooked corned beef, boiled potatoes, steamed cabbage.

Wow, that's a beast, awesome, thank you.

How long have you been here?


BOURDAIN: Are you from the area?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I grew up here, and I've been coming here since a kid. And it's went through a few owners and then it came up for sale, and decided to give it a shot.

BOURDAIN: Generally speaking, who are your customers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of them they are retirees. They've been coming here since they were 30.

BOURDAIN: And this, you don't see so much anymore. Dino era homemade pies and lots of them. All baked on premises.

Raspberry cream pie for me, thank you. This is not something we see a lot of. Old school pie like that, and this number of them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, everything is made here. And they're all the original recipes from the '60s. The index cards are so old, they're all faded yellow.

BOURDAIN: Just exotic for me.


BOURDAIN: Oh, yes. Well how's business?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's getting better. The drug problem has started, it really get rampant. It took over May 1st, 2012, and by the end of that year, I was broken into four times. It wasn't just me, though, probably it was multiple businesses time after time. I came in one morning to open up, and I actually had a guy in front of the register, and he got up, pulled a knife out. I realized it really wasn't worth anything over a knife.

BOURDAIN: I think what you're doing here is terrific. I mean, you know, a man can go and get a good pot open turkey sandwich and a good slice of pie, it's a beautiful thing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Heather Taylor (ph). I'm a mother of three. The two older kids experienced my addiction.

My addiction started with pills. I started sniffing heroin. I shot up for the first time, and shortly there later, I found out I was pregnant. I had my daughter. She was in the hospital for six weeks because she was addicted to the methadone, and I had to watch my baby go through withdrawal.

My son was four, and my daughter was six weeks when they were taken away. I lost my kids for 33 days shy of two years.

I became serious about my recovery.

BOURDAIN: So is this the bad part of town or is this just a place where you're unlikely to be easily one find you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a place where people are unlikely to find you. I wouldn't necessarily say there was a bad part of Greenfield. I mean, it's probably pretty spread out bad, I guess you'd say.

BOURDAIN: So what would you do? Would you just come here to shoot up?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. You know, we'd go down here and just hang out down there. I bet if we walked along here, we'd probably find needles and bags and, you know.

BOURDAIN: So basically you'd come down here shoot up, and what are you going to nod out? Just sit down and...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just sit down and hang out or on a day like this, probably just hang out under the underpass over there.

BOURDAIN: Not exactly la vida loca.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. As you can see, all the trash and yuck, it's dirty and gross. There's probably people who live down here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there's a lot of homeless people in Greenfield.

BOURDAIN: What do you think now like when you see somebody who's clearly junk sick on the street?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, it gives me that yuck, sick feeling. And it scares me. It reminds me why I don't want to be out there. It's just scary. A friend of mine overdosed January 1st of this year. And my brother-in-law overdosed in Wendy's bathroom when they found him. And they brought him back to life. He was dead in the bathroom.

So this is my Narcan. I carry this around, I have one of these in my house and I have one in my car. I have a fear that my husband's going to relapse and I'm going to find him dead. You just put this in here and squirt it up their nose.

BOURDAIN: Now in most cases, as I understand it, they're right out of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they're right out of it and they are instantly sick.

BOURDAIN: They don't wake up happy. But they wake up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But they wake up.

BOURDAIN: (inaudible) you walk to the bathroom and there's somebody's blue there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And somebody is on the floor.

BOURDAIN: Are you saving that life?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yep, I'm saving that life. Absolutely. And then kicking their ass

BOURDAIN: Better now? Life better now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. My kids have been home three years. You know, I no longer have to watch my back. You know, I live a pretty straight and narrow life, which, you know, people might say is boring, but I love my life today. I'm grateful.

BOURDAIN: Where are we headed?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To the Recover Project. This is where my recovery started.

BOURDAIN: Started nearly a decade ago in one of the two main streets of Greenfield, the Recover Project is community-based. An open-arms program aimed at helping addicts stay clean.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Given the opioid heroin epidemic in our community, we'd like to start the conversation. Just kind of sharing with one another, you know, what happened at that point of our life, what that was like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So as a child growing up in a home in addiction, I didn't understand how they could do all the stuff that they did to me and my brother and sister. Like, don't you love me enough? Then I became a mother, and then I became a heroin addict. And I did all that stuff to my kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My doctor was my biggest drug dealer. I fell down a flight of stairs, I'd just been married, had a baby, was working two jobs, college on top of it. Next thing I know, I'm on these prescriptions, that's where it all began for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are the odds you're going to own a house? What's the odds you're going to have a nice car? Any car? A place to live and all that stuff? Seems less and less likely all the time. Contrast that with what happens when you stick a spike in your arm. And I wouldn't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I have this picture in my head of when I got the phone call that my daughter's father had been in the accident, and I just had a c-section, and they come in with this needle to give me Ativan, I think, and all I really needed was a hug, like I just needed someone to come up to me and give me a hug, and say I care about you, Kaitlyn (ph), and everything is going to be okay.

BOURDAIN: I'll tell you something really shameful about myself. The first time I shot up, I looked at myself in the mirror with a big grin. You know, something was missing in me, whether it was a self- image situation, whether it was a character flaw. I came from a stable family, the suburbs, you know, I had a lot of advantages. There was some dark genie inside me that I very much hesitate to call a disease, that led me to dope.

You know, I didn't have anyone else who could have talked me out of what I was doing, but intervention wouldn't have worked. I didn't have a child. I have a 7-year-old daughter now, who I never would have had. I never would have thought. I looked in a mirror and I saw somebody worth saving or that I wanted to at least try real hard and save.

You know, anybody can find them self very easily in this situation, and, you know, I look back on that and I think about, you know, I think about what I'll tell my daughter, you know. You know, that was daddy. Ain't no doubt about it, but I hope that I'll be able to say that was daddy then, this is daddy now, that I'm alive and living in hope. Thank you, guys.


BOURDAIN: In Massachusetts, the clambake is a ritual going back to the Flintstones, before the pilgrims. Today at the long-standing locals only shooting club, Schuetzenverein as it's called in German for the immigrants who fist started this rustic fraternity back in 1912. Club leader Ray Zurkowski (ph) takes me through the fascinating and arcane process of creating an old-school clambake.

RAY ZURKOWSKI (PH): Basically we build a kiln with hardwood and stone. We burn it down, remove the wood, and cover it with seaweed and corn husks, and we put our clams and lobsters and corn in there like a pressure cooker.

BOURDAIN: We've got a pig hiding in there also.

RAY ZURKOWSKI: No, no, no. We're going to pull a tester out right now and you can kind of see what we have got here.

BOURDAIN: Let's eat.


BOURDAIN: First, some good chowder, and there really is only one kind of chowder, New England clam chowder. That is good.

Steamer clams, lobster, corn, potatoes. That's a pretty luxurious clambake you got going here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody's attention for a second. The opioid education and awareness task force came together several months ago. I don't think we realized how quickly this could turn into a crisis for us.

BOURDAIN: Everybody in this room has been touched by or impacted by narcotics in some way. The Franklin County opioid safety task force is a grassroots response. Doctors, law enforcement, led by Franklin County Sheriff Chris Donelan, addiction specialists and addicts themselves are coming together to find a community-based solution to what is finally being recognized as a public health crisis rather than simply a criminal justice problem.

CHRIS DONELAN, FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF: It's a great opportunity to come here tonight to break bread and look at the successes that we have had so far. Think what makes me more proud than anything else about living in Franklin County is that we will not sit back and wait for anybody else to solve this problem for us. We're going to be a model for the commonwealth and for the nation on how we save our young people and how we save our community.

BOURDAIN: Again, it's a change. The city is the place where all of the bad stuff was supposed to happen. It was supposed to be in nice towns like Greenfield, right?

It isn't the image that people used to have 20 years ago, that it's a junkie in an alley somewhere using a needle. It's not. It's your kids, it's your neighbors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The worst I think is when you have these young people who break a leg and they go to the doctor and they get a prescription for Oxy and become addicted to it. These are any kid who plays a high school sport. It's a horrible circumstance when it happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It only started in the past couple of years. Yeah, the heroin was around, the pills were around, but we didn't have people dying.

BOURDAIN: Once you've been busted for heroin, that's a hard thing to live down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to get rid of that shame factor so people can deal with it, address it, and get support from the community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like we'll lose a generation, of our young people, 18 to 22, is what we're seeing the most. The district attorney, the sheriff, myself, the police department are all united. This task force has grown to over 100 people in a matter of six months, and that's what we're committed to doing, and we'll do it until the day I die.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lost one daughter to drugs. It, you know, whatever it takes.

BOURDAIN: Let's start by being honest with ourselves. As a nation, for decades, we were perfectly happy to write off whole neighborhoods, whole cities, whole generations of young men and women. As long as it was an inner city problem, an urban problem, which is to say a black people problem, a brown people problem. Send them to prison into a system from which they'll never return.

Maybe now, now that it's really come home to roost, now that it's the high school quarterback, your next-door neighbor, your son, your daughter, now that grandma is as likely to be a junkie as anybody else, we'll accept that there has never been a real war on drugs. War on drugs implies in us versus them, and all over this part of America, people are learning there is no them. There is only us. And we're going to have to figure this out together.