“He will beat this. This kid, I’m telling you — you know, knew Beau. Beau’s my soul. Hunter’s my heart,” Joe, 76, told the outlet, referencing Hunter’s brother Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
“And Hunter’s been through some tough times, but he’s fighting,” the current presidential candidate added. “He’s fighting. He’s never given up. He’s the most honorable, decent person I know.”
“We’ve seen the struggle, and we know that most American families are dealing with some sort of struggle like we are,” Jill, 68, added.
“I think they can relate to us, you know, as parents who are hopeful and are supportive of our son, and we will continue to be supportive,” she continued. “And I think that makes us more empathetic about helping other Americans.”
In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Hunter, 49, said, “Everybody has trauma. There’s addiction in every family.”
Hunter told The New Yorker that he started drinking socially as a teenager. He later picked up smoking when he was a student at Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Hunter also went into detail about his battle with alcoholism, saying in 2003 his ex-wife Kathleen Biden begged him to get sober.
In 2003, he looked up rehab facilities and admitted himself to Crossroads Centre Antigua. According to the magazine, Hunter first relapsed in November 2010, after seven years of sobriety, and then again in 2013.
He returned to Crossroads after the 2010 relapse and then, after the 2013 relapse, sought out a Mexican clinic that used the psychoactive substance ibogaine as a form of treatment.
In the fall of 2014, he went to a 12-step retreat and in 2015 he went to rehab at a center out of the University of Pennsylvania followed by an inpatient program and another program in Washington, D.C. He returned to the 12-step retreat in February 2016 before entering another rehab in D.C. That same year, he went to Grace Grove Lifestyle Center in Arizona.
“I was in that darkness,” Hunter told The New Yorker. “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.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.