Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Opens Up About Addiction Struggles

By Maggie Ethridge 07/03/19

"There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”

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Hunter and Joe Biden
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Hunter Biden, the 49-year-old-son of Democratic Presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, has given an extensive interview with The New Yorker magazine. In the piece, he discloses a history of drug and alcohol abuse dating back to his high school days. 

The interview was instigated by a piece published in Breitbart on Hunter Biden’s name as a possible narcotic suspect in Arizona. Biden decided that he wanted to get in front of the trickle of negative and possibly distorted news stories that would come out about his past in attempts to stall his father’s run for the presidency. 

Hunter Sets The Record Straight 

Biden told The New Yorker, “Look, everybody faces pain. Everybody has trauma. There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”

Biden was barely three years old when he was in a horrific car accident with his family; his mother and baby sister were both killed. Biden and his brother, Beau, were both badly injured and hospitalized—their dad was sworn into the Senate in their hospital room. 

Some addiction specialists such as Gabor Maté believe that trauma is at the heart of most addictions and the destructive behaviors that follow. 

The Washington Post counted at least five stays at both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs over the last 15 years. He was discharged from the Navy after failing a drug test—he had been using cocaine. 

Biden’s interview recounts his recent personal struggles with a painful divorce and then his relationship with his late brother, Beau’s, wife. That relationship did not work because according to Biden, all they got was “shit from everybody, all the time.”

Biden’s ex-wife cited excessive spending on drugs, alcohol, prostitutes and strip clubs in her divorce filings, asking for Biden’s assets to be frozen. Biden disputed the charges but went directly to a strip club the night of the filing, saying “Fuck them.”

His Father Has Been Supportive

Biden recounts that throughout his long addiction, his father Joe Biden has been supportive and loving. After Hunter Biden remarried recently, his father said that he knew love would bring him back to the family.

Hunter Biden responded, “Dad, I always had love. And the only thing that allowed me to see that is the fact that you never gave up on me, you always believed in me.”

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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