We had the chance to catch up with Andrew and ask him a few more questions, not featured on the Facebook chat:
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: How did you first come to use drugs or alcohol? And what was the first substance you tried?
Andrew Zimmern: “I tried champagne at a family party when I was six years old. I loved it. I drank too much, giggled and passed out. Everyone thought it was cute. The die was cast. I picked up weed and alcohol again in 1974, when I was in the 8th grade.”
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: Do you think that being a celebrity makes it harder to stay sober?
Andrew Zimmern: “No, sobriety has nothing to do with what you do for a living or where you do it.”
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: Does being in the public eye provide more temptation to use drugs and alcohol?
Andrew Zimmern: “Absolutely not. If I stop taking care of myself and let my emotional and spiritual sobriety wane, then the symptomology of relapse begins.”
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: As a parent, and especially one who had been through it himself, what is the best advice you can give to parents going through addiction with one of their teens?
Andrew Zimmern: “Hang in there, seek professional help, take care of yourself first and be as cold and as tough as you can be as early as you can be. This is a deadly disease and it will not take mercy on you, so you have to be lethal with your resources for a solution to your family problem.”
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids: How will you turn some of the valuable lessons you’ve learned into lessons of prevention for your son?
Andrew Zimmern: “All I have is my story, and he has heard it a lot. All I can do is parent him appropriate to his age and to my own personal experience and be vocal with him.”
Watch Andrew tonight as he hosts a new episode of the Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, at 9:00 p.m. EST.