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Hunter Biden speaks out on ‘vile’ politicization of his addiction

By Jake Beardslee · November 3, 2023

In brief…

  • Hunter Biden authored an op-ed in USA Today addressing politicization of his past addiction struggles
  • He discussed overcoming addiction four years ago but said his struggles have been used against his father politically
  • Biden faces gun charges from 2021 and questioned the unprecedented nature of the case
  • He expressed concerns that coverage could discourage seeking help due to stigma around addiction
In a USA Today op-ed, Hunter Biden criticized the politicization of his prior addiction history and called for lessening the stigma surrounding substance use disorder recovery efforts.  acaben/Wikimedia

In an op-ed published in USA Today, Hunter Biden decried the political exploitation of his past struggles with addiction. Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has often faced scrutiny from conservative critics over his previous struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.

Biden recounted his battle with addiction, saying he chose “life over the slow strangle-death grip of addiction” four years ago. He said he is prouder of getting sober than anything else he’s accomplished. However, Biden wrote that his struggles have been used as “fodder for a vile and sustained disinformation campaign” against his father.

The op-ed came as Biden faces federal charges related to a gun purchase from 2021. He acknowledged the mistakes were his own but criticized the “first ever” nature of the charges in Delaware history.

Biden voiced concern over the “demonization of addiction” and human fallibility using him as a symbol. He said coverage of his past issues on Fox News and in the New York Post risks discouraging others from seeking help due to stigma.

In the op-ed, Biden stated that achieving sobriety “requires changing everything.” He expressed concern that the continuous criticism directed at him could endanger the welfare of those in recovery or contemplating treatment. He criticized several partisan figures, including Steve Bannon, Guo Wengui and Rudy Giuliani, for what he characterized as degrading and dehumanizing portrayals of him reportedly aimed at political gain.

Biden credited his family for supporting his recovery journey but said they too suffer humiliating coverage. He vowed to use his experience to help others through his “living amends.” Despite being a frequent target, Biden expressed his commitment to helping others through his own recovery journey, saying “You are worth it. I am living proof of that.”