Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, troubled lawyer—Robert Downey, Jr. is renowned for playing a variety of popular roles on screen, so it may come as a surprise that the 50-year-old was actually notorious for drug and alcohol abuse not too long ago.
Years of Addiction During His Rise to Fame
In 1996, when stopped by police for speeding, the actor was found in possession of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and even an unloaded .357 Magnum. That same year, his neighbors caught him passed out on their 11-year-old son’s bed. Even after this shocking incident, Downey refused to dedicate time to rehabilitation. Twice he tried rehab, and both times he was not able to commit. His unwillingness to remain in rehab long enough ultimately cost him: he served almost a year in prison.
It was not until Downey was arrested two more times, one of which involved him straggling barefoot on the street, that the gravity of his situation hit him. The actor decided he absolutely had to make a change: rehabilitation was not something he could just do on the side, or move down his list of priorities. Despite being the future heroic and intelligent Iron Man, he knew he couldn’t do it alone.
Path towards Recovery and a Fresh Start
Robert Downey Jr. committed himself to a 12-step rehab program, therapy sessions, meditation, and even Wing Chun Kung Fu to rid himself of his addiction. Soon enough, through dedication and support, he was able to come clean, resume his career, and, in 2005, marry the woman of his dreams.
After emerging from his recovery process victorious, Downey acknowledges the strong influence genetics can have on addiction habits. Downey’s own father had been an addict, who even offered Downey a joint when he was just seven-years-old. “Pick a dysfunction and it’s a family problem,” he once said when discussing the likelihood that he had inherited the predisposition from his father. Downey now seeks to help Indio, his son from his first marriage, who recently was charged with felony drug possession.
Even the most well-known of people have fallen victim to addiction. Robert Downey Jr. had it happen to him, yet he is now a beloved actor all over the world. Jamie Lee Curtis and John Goodman have also battled addiction, and have stories to share about their recovery. Addiction does not define you; in the words of Downey Jr., “I am not my story.” You may have an addiction story, but you will also have a story of recovery.
If you like similar stories about recovery, check out our the blog post about 5 Famous Recovery Stories.
If you are willing to seek help, then you, too, can become great. At CASA Recovery, we will help get you there. Please contact us to learn more about our comprehensive treatment programs. Our operators are available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to visit our team and facilities anytime at 31877 Del Obispo St #104 in beautiful San Juan Capistrano, California!