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Robert Downey Jr. Inspires Others In Recovery

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One of the most stunning life stories in modern Hollywood belongs to none other than Robert Downey Jr. He went from being a high profile actor in the 80’s, to an addict that casting directors would seldom hire in the mid 90’s. In 1999, after multiple bouts in rehab, Downey Jr. had exhausted any leniency he’d received from the courts, and was sentenced to three years in prison for repeatedly violating probation on illicit drug and weapons charges. Learning his lesson, Downey Jr. committed to sobriety and is now a trophy of inspiration. His astounding career comeback includes Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe Award, and yet again the leading role in the highly anticipated superhero flick, “Iron Man 3.” Such a testimony deserves a closer look.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Hollywood Drug Abuse

It wasn’t the pressures of stardom that cultivated Robert Downey Jr.’s troubled lifestyle, rather like most who struggle with addiction, his issues can be traced back to early childhood. Downey Jr. was introduced to illicit substances as early as age six when his father, Robert Downey Sr., let him use marijuana. Downey Sr. used drugs and alcohol to bond with his son, an activity Downey Jr. says was his Dad’s’ way of “expressing his love.” Downey Jr. remembers feeling dependent on drugs for the first time around the age of ten.

Marijuana, Cocaine, & Heroin

After a drug and alcohol fueled childhood like that, it would seem Downey Jr.’s life was destined for a downward spiral. Regardless of the status he gained in his early career, Downey Jr.’s illegal use of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin got him arrested multiple times for related charges and forced him into numerous rehab programs. As his list of drug-related crime grew, his career began to fizzle out. Casting directors were either forced to fire him, or wouldn’t hire him in the first place.

Hitting Rock Bottom

Robert Downey Jr. was ready to admit he had hit rock-bottom when he was sentenced to three years in prison. The reality check led to evaluating his life goals, and eventually the desire to forsake his bad-boy antics. In 2001, Downey Jr. enrolled into an addiction treatment facility where recovery programs, counseling, yoga, and loved ones helped him to get clean. He has not strayed from the recovery path since; his flourishing career and good health are what he has to show for it.

It’s interesting that one only has to look back about a decade to see Robert Downey Jr. as a troubled drug addict who no studio in Hollywood would dare to employ. Today, that same seemingly hopeless addict is now an example of how dedication to sober living can transform a life. Go see “Iron Man 3” this coming May, and see why Downey Jr. says, “Good things come to those who stay sober.”

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