Stigma and Survival in the Shining City

Alex Greenwood
7 min readNov 2, 2023

Hunter Biden Speaks to the Silent Struggle That Killed My Friend

Two weeks ago, I lost a dear friend, Robert, to addiction. His battle mirrors many stories of addiction, including a very public one: Hunter Biden’s.

Image designed by the author with assistance from AI. Author assumes rights and provenance.

Let me be clear: I hold no brief for Hunter Biden. He is a troubled, controversial figure in a family that I see as genuinely good people. And I’m not here to argue about politics, mostly because Hunter Biden is not a politician. He is an addict.

And he just said a couple of things that brought me back to the friend I just lost:

“I am not a victim. By any standard, I grew up with privilege and opportunity, and fully accept that the choices and mistakes I made are mine, and I am accountable for them and will continue to be. That is what recovery is about.

What troubles me is the demonization of addiction, of human frailty, using me as its avatar and the devastating consequences it has for the millions struggling with addiction, desperate for a way out and being bombarded by the denigrating and near-constant coverage of me and my addiction on Fox News (more airtime than GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis) and in The New York Post (an average of two stories a day over the past year).”



Alex Greenwood

PR Consultant, Speaker, Podcast Producer/Host, Editor, and Award-Winning Writer of the John Pilate Mystery Series. Accomplished belly laugher.