Hunter Biden smiling

How Hunter Biden's Guilty Verdict Has Affected Addiction Across The U.S.

Home / News / How Hunter Biden's Guilty Verdict Has Affected Addiction Across The U.S.

By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on June 15, 2024 at 1:45 PM EDT

Hunter Biden, 54, was found guilty on all three charges he faced during his trial about a 2018 gun purchase, where he was accused of lying on federal paperwork, claiming he was not using or addicted to drugs at the time of purchase.

He is now facing up to 25 years in prison.

Following his guilty verdict, many experts claim Hunter Biden's story is helping to raise awareness regarding addiction.

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Looking Back At The President's Son's Addiction History

Hunter Biden and Melissa Cohen Biden arrive at the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Delaware

The son of President Joe Biden has been public about his struggles with addiction and has openly discussed his addiction to drugs, including cocaine and alcohol. It has, unfortunately, had an impact on his personal and professional life.

Hunter Biden has sought treatment for his addiction issues multiple times and has acknowledged the toll that addiction has taken on his relationships, career, and family. The 54-year-old has also spoken about his efforts to recover and maintain sobriety.

His openness about his struggles has contributed to broader conversations about addiction, treatment, and recovery in society. His recent gun trial has only intensified these conversations.

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Hunter Biden's Story Raises Awareness

Hunter Biden seen arriving at trial in Wilmington, DE

William C. Moyers, vice president of Public Affairs and Community Relations at Hazelden Foundation, advocates for others to pay attention to Hunter's story, which ultimately helps bring awareness to addiction.

“Hunter Biden’s story is a story that all too many Americans know intimately,” he said, per BBC. “It’s a good thing if, at the end of the day, we shift our conversations and our focus away from just piling on and instead recognize that addiction is a public health crisis and that recovery is possible.”

Dr. Lucas Trautman, medical director at a chapter of American Addiction Centers in Mississippi, also acknowledged how Hunter's story may be more relatable than Americans realize.

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“Every family, whether you’re coastal or in the American heartland, probably has a family member or an extended family member who [has] a substance use disorder,” Dr. Trautman told the outlet. “We’re constantly trying to destigmatize substance use treatment so that people come forward. Any time we use a public figure who has a substance abuse disorder for political gain and paint them in a nefarious light, it could stigmatize other people suffering from addiction."

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How The President's Son's Trial Affected The U.S.

Hunter Biden talking

Others spoke out, including Pat Aussem, vice president at Partnership to End Addiction, who works on programs for families, advocating for addiction following Hunter Biden's story.

“We need to get substance use out in the public, people talking about it, and developing the policies and strategies and tools put in place to holistically help people," he said.

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Hunter Biden Talks About Recovery

Hunter Biden hugging his family

While Hunter Biden says he is "disappointed by the outcome," he is looking towards his road to recovery.

“I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa, my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome. Recovery is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time.”

Hunter's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, added "We respect the jury process, and as we have done throughout this case, we will continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available to Hunter. Through all he has been through in his recovery, including this trial, Hunter has felt grateful for and blessed by the love and support of his family.”

President Joe Biden On His Son's Trial

Joe Biden sitting at his desk

The President of the United States spoke on his son's guilty verdict, explaining that while he is President, he is also a father.

"Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today," he said in a statement, per CNN. "So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery."

"I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support. Nothing will ever change that," the President added.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357.)

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