NY-Mayor Elect's Daughter Tells of Substance Abuse

Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013  |  Updated 8:08 AM EDT
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The 19-year-old daughter of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio admitted in a YouTube video released on Christmas Eve that she sought treatment for alcohol and drug addiction after years of also battling depression. Andrew Siff reports

NBC 4 New York

The 19-year-old daughter of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio admitted in a YouTube video released on Christmas Eve that she sought treatment for alcohol and drug addiction after years of also battling depression. Andrew Siff reports

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WATCH: De Blasio's Daughter Admits Battling Substance Abuse, Depression

The 19-year-old daughter of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio admitted in a YouTube video released Christmas Eve that she has struggled with depression and substance abuse.
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The 19-year-old daughter of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio admitted in a YouTube video released on Christmas Eve that she sought treatment for alcohol and drug addiction after years of also battling depression.

Chiara de Blasio said in the nearly five-minute video that she'd been suffering from clinical depression since her adolescence and used alcohol to cope with her sadness and anxiety. She said she hopes that by sharing her story, she will inspire others to get help.

De Blasio said she thought her problems would be solved by leaving home and going to California for college, 3,000 miles away. But, she says, she still felt an insecurity that inhibited her ability to connect with her fellow students and to curb her addictive behavior.

"I just kept reasoning and using this really fake rationale that was so justified to me that I could keep doing this stuff and be like, 'Oh, I won't drink,' and then I would just smoke weed, and then I'd be like, 'Oh, I'm not going to smoke weed,' and then I'd just drink," de Blasio said. "It was kind of just bartering for equally bad outcomes." 

After years of struggling, de Blasio said her therapist recommended an outpatient treatment program in New York City. Working with both professionals and people her age who suffered from depression and anxiety as she did, de Blasio says she was able to work through many of her issues — and get sober.


"Removing substances from my life, it's opened so many doors for me," de Blasio said.
 
She did not specify when she sought treatment, but said being able to participate in her father's mayoral campaign this year was a highlight of her sober life.

She said her parents remained committed to helping her get better throughout her ups and downs, and that being able to be honest with them — and others — about her trials was critical in overcoming them. 

People are suffering and dying of these diseases every day, de Blasio said. 

"We really can't do anything as a society to help those people until we start talking about it. Nobody can do sobriety on their own," she said.

 
Outside the family's Park Slope home Tuesday, Bill de Blasio said his daughter had "incredible courage" to speak in the video, noting that holidays can be particularly difficult times for people struggling with the issues his daughter has.
 
"I am just so proud that Chiara decided to speak out and she said it at this moment which is the time of the year where these challenges are probably at their sharpest," the mayor-elect said. 
 

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