Robert Downey Jr.’s Struggle with Addiction

Robert Downey Jr. is a rare example of a celebrity comeback, after a very public battle with drug and alcohol addiction. In the early 2000’s we didn’t see a whole lot of work come to our big screens from The Wonder Boys actor. But these days Robert Downey Jr. is one of the highest paying actors due to his work on Iron Man. How did he manage to come back from such a rocky, career shaking downfall?

Downey Jr.’s upbringing made him particularly vulnerable to addiction. He grew up in the movie business. His father, Robert Downey Sr. was a filmmaker and even cast his son in some of his films. Downey Sr. first exposed his son to drugs when little Robert was just six years old, starting his decades long struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.

As Robert Downey Jr continued to use drugs and alcohol, he found himself in a holding pattern. In and out of rehab, movie sets, and drug binges, he began getting into legal trouble. Robert Downey Jr. had a series of arrests that eventually landed him prison with a sentence of three years, of which he served one.

After he left prison he reentered show business and began the same cycle of drug binging, working, and rehab. At the time his name was frequently in the tabloids but not because of his movies. Downey Jr. was found walking around the city barefoot and sometimes even stark naked. One time he was discovered in only his underwear sleeping in a neighbor boy’s empty bed.

Even with all of this in his past, Robert Downey Jr. has now been sober since 2003. For 15 years he has made the determination to live a healthy life and credits his relationship with his wife and close friends as the reason he is able to sustain his sobriety. Robert Downey Jr.’s career began to ramp up again after getting sober and in 2008 Downey Jr. landed the role in the first Iron Man movie.


To get sober yourself, call our addiction specialists at (844) 299-0618.

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