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World-Class Gymnast & Entertainer Joe Putignano Talks About Heroin Addiction On 'Anderson 360' In Wake of Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's Apparent Overdose

Former Instinct cover guy, world-class gymnast and recovering heroin addict, Joe Putignano, sat down with Anderson Cooper last night on his news show Anderson Cooper 360 to talk about heroin addiction in the wake of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's apparent heroin overdose and subsequent death.

Similar to Hoffman, Putignano is a performer/entertainer, having performed all around the world as a contortionist and gymnast in several productions, most notably, Cirque Du Soleil. In the interview with Cooper, Putignano explains how difficult it can be for those in the entertainment business to knock the addiction, stating:

"I wanted to get clean while I was performing but I knew the withdrawls would happen ... and you can't be sick on stage, so I'd have to keep using to finish the shows. It's almost as if I had to have time off to withdraw and get clean again."

Watch Joe's powerful and revealing interview with Anderson Cooper 360 after the jump:

 

 

In an exclusive statement to Instinct, Putignano—the NY TImes Best Selling Author of Accrobadict—shared the following about his past and why he did the show:

"[Philip Seymour Hoffman's] passing is tragic, and extremely devastating. One of my first loves died of a heroin overdose and I think of him everyday...I will always think of him. Also, as people know from my many interviews and my book, I'm candid about sharing my experiences with addiction. The more we can create a dialogue to let those who are struggling with addiction feel open to talk about their struggles, the more we can prevent anyone else from dying from this chronic and fatal disease."

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We couldn't be more proud of Joe and his approaching 7 year triumph of being clean!

Do you think more transparency and conversations/stories about drug addiction like Joe's will help those who need help take the bold step to seek treatment, Instincters?