“Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr.’s struggle to stay sober
Articles / Blog
03-26-15 Category: Addiction Treatment

robert downey jr struggle to stay sober

Robert Downey Jr. has experienced both extreme substance dependence and life-changing recovery. He still remembers the tremendous consequences of controlled substances abuse, starting at a young age. However, the actor’s drug use began to escalate once he became well-known in Hollywood. Today, he is still remembered for these troubling times despite his continued sobriety which began in early 2000s.

In 1996, the star was stopped for speeding. Police uncovered cocaine and heroin in his possession as well as an unloaded gun. He was also found by his neighbors passed out in their son’s bed while under the influence. He twice escaped from rehab, the second time resulting in a stay at a highly secure facility. He was eventually sentenced to jail where he served slightly less than one year. Downey’s experiences in jail included fights with another inmate. Downey remembers waking up in a pool of his own blood after two of these brawls.

Downey has compared the struggle of drug addiction to getting lost: “All of a sudden you’re three miles into the woods. Can you help someone get out of those woods? Yes you can. By not getting lost looking for them.” Clearly, Downey’s life circumstances had lead him to traumatic experiences beyond his control. By escaping from rehab, he was only returning to the metaphorical woods of substance abuse. Yet more unfortunate events were still to come.

After being released, he was given a part in the legal drama “Ally McBeal.” However, he soon faced further legal complications after police searched his hotel room in Palm Springs and found cocaine and methamphetamine. While on parole, Downey was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles under the influence without shoes. This incident cost him his television show role on “Ally McBeal.” His wife then left him, taking his son and filing for divorce. He was also close to bankruptcy at this time.

Following two further arrests after serving time in jail, Downey finally went through a successful stint in rehab. His regimen included a 12-step program, martial arts and meditation. He has since compared his love affair with drug abuse to being in a coma for two decades. Since becoming sober, his film career has taken off in ways that could not be possible while under the influence. He has been able to reclaim success and now drinks nothing stronger than coffee.

However, the actor is now facing further battles with substance abuse vicariously through his oldest son, Indio Downey who has been charged with drug possession. Robert Downey Jr. now admits that his past substance abuse may be a factor in his son’s decision to use. However, the star is hopeful that Indio will be able to overcome his drug dependence in the same manner that Robert was eventually able to do.

Sovereign Health California provides the utmost quality in patient care for those suffering from substance addiction. Our holistic treatment program includes cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy and more. Our goals include teaching patients life skills to ensure a lasting recovery and maintaining sobriety. To help yourself or a loved one begin the path to recovery, please contact our admissions team today at (866) 819-0427 to get started.

Contributed by Sovereign Health Writer, Ryan McMaster

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