From Addict To Avenger: The Journey Of Robert Downey, Jr.


Most children know Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, a great superhero from Mavel’s Avengers.  However, most of us adults have known about Downey’s very troubling past with addiction.  He is a great example that recovery is not the easiest, but when faced with harsh consequences from continuing substance abuse, will make any addict want to change for the best.  The article written by Dariel Figueroa for UPROXX gives really great history about Downey’s road to recovery.


It was 1999, and Robert Downey, Jr., an Oscar-nominated actor, teetered on the edge of a chasm. If Superior Court Judge Lawrence Mira — who had seen Downey stand before him on several occasions — had taken mercy on him, he might be dead now; it’s a fact that the actor recognizes. But Mira had no mercy left to grant. Downey had used up the judge’s goodwill with a series of bad choices, and the judge no longer saw the benefit of court-mandated rehabs and facilities.

In The Family

Downey was born into a showbiz family. His father, Robert Downey, Sr., was known as a maverick filmmaker, part of the underground scene. Downey, Sr.’s satirical takes on Hollywood and politics began in 1961, and he acted in and directed a number of films through the ’60s and ’70s, including 1970’s Pound, which featured the acting debut of a 5-year-old Robert Downey, Jr. The counter-culture of the times also contributed to what would become Downey, Jr.’s dangerous obsession with substances. When he was just 8 years old, his father introduced him to marijuana. The drug use between father and son would continue for some time.

The Trouble With Robert

It was 11:15 in the morning on June 23, 1996, when police noticed a black Explorer careening down the Pacific Coast Highway doing 20 MPH over the speed limit. When officers pulled the vehicle over, they discovered Robert Downey, Jr., high and with a car full of substances and a weapon; they found heroin, cocaine, crack, and a .357 magnum. He had been discovered, and his problems had become fodder for entertainment programs and publications everywhere. Downey posted the $10,000 bond to get out of jail, but less than three weeks later, another incident occurred. Inebriated, Downey walked into his neighbor’s home, went to an 11-year old’s bedroom, undressed and slipped into the bed to fall asleep. His neighbor didn’t recognize him when she pulled back the sheets to her son’s bed, and called the police when Downey wouldn’t respond.




“There’s no way to explain how spiritually debilitating it is to be taken out of the loop of your life. It’s like dying,” Downey told NBC News from prison.

Downey didn’t just get a job as a superhero, he became a real-life one who all people with addictions can learn from. In doing so, he did more than become the actor he was destined to be. He became the human being that had resided under a film of addiction, and that revealed itself on an international stage. Today, Robert Downey, Jr. is content with being Robert Downey, Jr., and that’s a transformation worthy of sobriety.

Read more here.

Addiction can result in a lot of issues in one’s life, if you are looking to break free, please contact Bridgeway Behavioral Health by visiting

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