Synopsis: In this episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain explores the state of Massachusetts, where he spent his early adult life—and where entire communities have been rocked by a deadly heroin epidemic. After reflecting on his beginnings as a dishwasher in the seaside community of Provincetown, Bourdain travels west to Greenfield and speaks with parents, doctors, police, and former drug users who are grappling with the country’s opioid epidemic.

On his early years in Provincetown:

“I love the beach. Pretty much had my first everything on a beach. You name it, first time I did it—beach.”

“I hadn’t been working for a while; I was a deadbeat. I was scarfing off of everybody else. And Nancy Poole [of the now closed Flagship Restaurant] 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.”

“What do you do? You’re young, you go to the beach, you get laid, and you get high.”

On Provincetown’s reputation as a home for outsiders:

“[Provincetown] was the Sodom and Gomorrah by the sea over there, a big candy store for horny, stupid 17-year-olds with a taste for chemicals.”

“In 1972 my feeling was that this was a gay town and that I was here at the pleasure of somebody else, which is sort of the opposite of everywhere outside of here at that time.”

On the heroin epidemic striking small communities like Greenfield:

“The city is the place where all of the bad stuff was supposed to happen. It wasn’t 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.”

Guests weigh in:

On Provincetown:

John Yingling (owner of Spiritus Pizza): “It was Hell Town. There’s where the Puritans sent their rejects—right out here.”

On fishing:

Beau Gribbin (fisherman): “My dad used to say, ‘If you’re staying dry, you’re not making any money.’”

On the heroin epidemic:

Undercover detective with the Greenfield Police Department: “[Heroin is] hitting every age group, [every] economic household—it’s out there.”

Dr. Ruth Potee (Greenfield family physician): “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.”