Blondie: Jimmy Destri

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Beyond Race: Catching Up With Jimmy Destri

Check out this new interview with Jimmy from "Beyond Race" magazine: Catching Up With Jimmy Destri

Jimmy On Voice America Today

Client Centered Approach in Treatment, with guest Jimmy Destri of Blondie. Tune in to, Health and Wellness channel on May 4, 2009 to hear Jimmy Destri’s interview. One Hour at a Time with host Mary Woods and guest host Dr. Mark Green airs Mondays at 3pm.

Better TV Interview

Jimmy appeared on "Better TV" to talk about his counseling work and the new Blondie album - check out the interview here:

ABC News Interview

Check out out my interview from yesterday.

Jimmy Destri on Red Eye

Jimmy appeared on the Fox News "Red Eye" show to talk about addiction and his recovery. Check out the video here: Fox News: Red Eye

Sirius XM and Fox News Channel

Hello friends and lovers,

I'll be a guest speaker on two shows this week - Sirius XM "Doctor Radio" and Fox News "strategy room" discussing substance abuse, getting clean, rock and roll and god knows what else. Apparently I'll be part of panel with Brett Michaels (that slutty Poison guy) on the fox news live show - hijinks expected. Please tune in or better yet call in to chat. Details below:

Yours Jimmy D--

SIRIUS XM "Doctor Radio"
Will air LIVE at 12 noon EST on Tuesday, January 13th on Channel 114.

Will air LIVE online at 12 noon at on Wednesday, January 14th.

amNewYork: A Man Of Substance

"A Man Of Substance" by Karen Tina Harrison - Special to amNewYork.

The big career switch: From rock star to drug counselor

Who pulled it off?

Brooklynite Jimmy Destri, 54, was the keyboard player of Blondie.

Why did your rock star life crash?

Performing was such a rush, I had to continue the high offstage. I was a profound coke addict for 25 years. My life fell apart. Rock bottom was my 17-year-old daughter cutting me loose. I checked into St. Jude, a retreat upstate. I stopped using blow that day in '03.

How did you get into counseling?

What worked for me could work for other addicts. I'd had EMT training and studied counseling part-time at CUNY for two years. I work with patients at Carnegie Hill Institute uptown and am about to earn my wings as a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor. (

What's your day like?

I lead groups and see patients one-on-one. I'm their case manager and number-one advocate. I get deep into patients' lives and help them deal with all their issues, because drugs aren't the problem. They're the symptom of a messed-up life.

Who succeeds in this intense occupation?

Empathy and connection are key - you have to understand what addicts go through, and give them hope even if they have none. I tell my patients, don't do this for yourself, do it for your mom, your partner or your kid. You need a ton of personal strength and the ability to set boundaries. You have to be patient, organized and good with red tape. And you need a state-of-the-art b.s. detector.

What's in it for you?

Social service salaries aren't huge. But helping someone get their life together is the most beautiful feeling.

What else is there to know?

Believe me, drugs are as glamorous as a garbage truck. Living a real life is better than living the high life.

Link to PDF version:

Time Out New York: 1 Bold Question for Jimmy Destri

"I'm not a proponent of the one-day-at-a-time, you're-an-addict-for-life philosophy. I believe in total recovery. If you treat the life, the drugs will follow. It's less about the actual addiction and more about what's missing. What you're missing in your life and your brain and your brain chemistry that makes you want to get high. We've all gotten high, but certain people are predisposed to not want to stop. I don't think that anyone intrinsically wants to destroy themselves, unless they're inherently suicidal, but the drugs are something that gets you to another place instantly, and it's really hard to deal with."

Read the full interview at Time Out New York.

Official Jimmy Destri Web Site Now Open

Jimmy Destri's new website is now open. Check it out at


"Blondie" keyboardist sings new tune as drug counselor at NYC's Carnegie Hill Institute

It's been a long strange trip for founding member and hit songwriter Jimmy Destri of seminal mega-pop group Blondie. Destri, originator of the band's unique punk-pop synth sound and writer/lyricist of half of the band's catalog -- including three of the band's seven #1 hits, "Atomic", "Picture This" and the group's meteoric 1999 comeback song "Maria" -- and a 25 year drug addict, is now clean, sober and using his talents to cure other addicts.

Destri, last seen publicly at Blondie's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2006 and coming off an especially deadly 5 year, thousand dollar-a-day cocaine run, says he was "below rock-bottom; I was the walking dead, thinking there was truly no way out."

"I had been to three costly, prominent rehab facilities, various in-treatment programs and had spent hundred of thousand dollars, but nothing could reach me."

It wasn't until he went to went to his last program, a decidedly un-glamorous hole in the wall in the icy north that he was able to start putting the pieces together.

"For the first time ever, I was given an alternative way to get sober that didn't include having to submit to a "Higher Power" and it just hit me like a kick in the teeth. Once clean I knew that I wanted to dedicate myself to helping others in the same boat; the dead enders who've tried everything else."

For the past several years, Destri has focused exclusively on getting his Credential Alcohol and Drug Counselor certificate (C.A.S.A.C.), an intensive psychodynamic accredited course leading to a medical professional license, and working full time at New York City's Carnegie Hill Institute, a renowned drug and alcohol treatment facility run by psychiatrist Harvey Karcus and in business for over 30 years.

According to Dr. Karcus, "Jimmy is one of the best counselors we've ever had and has a true gift for caring and teaching others."

"At first we thought he'd have ego problems given his past success and fame, so we gave him the 6 am shift to test him out; to see if he was serious about working here. Jimmy showed up everyday at 5:30 am. He moved up really fast and now runs the most popular groups. Not surprisingly his group for musicians struggling to get back to writing and playing sober is S.R.O."

When asked if Destri missed touring and playing with Blondie, he insists that he is finding his new career path extremely fulfilling. "Besides, we have several patients that I know and played with from the old days", he says.

"In a strange way, I still feel connected and hear about what's going on in that world all the time. Plus, I still write music and there is some talk about doing another Blondie album. I hope it comes to pass but in between you'll find me back, counseling, at Carnegie Hill."

For more information on the Carnegie Hill Institute, visit

For more information on Jimmy Destri, visit

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