Just days before her dad is set to take office, Chiara de Blasio, the 19-year-old daughter of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, is opening up about her battle with substance abuse and depression.
In a video released by Bill de Blasio's transition team Tuesday, Chiara says she abused alcohol and marijuana to deal with clinical depression and anxiety before she was able to get treatment — and get sober.
"Every kid who grows up in New York grows up pretty fast," Chiara says in the five-minute video. "It made it easier the more I drank and did drugs to share some common ground with people I wouldn't have."
Chiara says she used "fake rationale" to justify her substance abuse: "I would be like, 'Okay, I won't drink.' I would just smoke weed. And then I would be like, 'I'm not gonna smoke weed, I'll just drink.' It was kind of like bartering for equally bad outcomes."
She said her therapist referred her to outpatient treatment, and that her therapy continued during her father's mayoral campaign.
"My mom was trying really hard to help me," Chiara said. "My dad was doing the same, but obviously he was very busy. But they were both very emotionally committed to try and figure out some way to get me better."
The 19-year-old urged others like her to seek help.
"Removing substances from my life has opened so many doors for me," she said. "Like, I was actually able to participate in my dad's campaign, and that was like the greatest thing ever."
"Her courage to speak out demonstrates a wisdom and maturity far beyond her 19 years, and we are grateful every day for her commitment to lifting up those who need to know that they are not alone," de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, said in a statement accompanying their daughter's video.
Bill de Blasio who won in a landslide victory over Republican Joe Lhota in November, becoming New York's first Democratic mayor in nearly 20 years. His term begins on Jan. 1.