Robert Downey Jr.
(Drug Abuse, Addiction and Rehab)
Perhaps there is no Hollywood drug addiction story quite like
that of Robert Downey Jr. A star at an early age, it seemed that
Robert Downey Jr. would continue on his meteoric rise to stardom
and never fall from it.
But fall he did and he fell hard. He fell so hard that his career
was considered dead in the water and his many attempts at rehab,
even court ordered, did not seem to make much of an impact on
Drugs in childhood
It is reported that Robert Downey Jr. stated that his father
began giving him drugs at the young age of eight-years-old. It
seems odd and strange that someone would do that to their own
child, but Robert Downey Jr.'s childhood was anything but normal
or ordinary. Born in 1965, he appeared in his first film at the
age of five. His second film came at the age of seven.
By the time Robert Downey Jr. was 22, he entered drug rehab for
the first time. In 1987 he was admitted for addiction to cocaine
and heroin. His work tapered off in the years following his rehab,
until the early nineties when he earned praise for many of his
feature film roles, leading up to his performance in Chaplin in
1992 that earned him an Academy Award nomination. It seemed that
he was heading back up in his career, but then the wheels began
to come off of his personal and professional life in 1996.
He was arrested several times in 1996 for possession of illegal
drugs and firearms, warranting a three year probation sentence.
He went through rehab and failed time and time again. It seemed
to most of the Hollywood world that Robert Downey Jr. was taking
a quick ride down and out as the millennium drew to a close.
He found some success and more critical acclaim on the hit television
show Ally McBeal, but when he was arrested twice more for similar
charges, he was fired and his character written off the show.
Between 1996 and 2002, Robert Downey Jr. spent time in and out
of jail and rehab. It was as though he was in a revolving door
and unable to break himself free.
Recovery and a new hope
Many people lose their way from drugs and alcohol. Robert Downey
Jr. described addiction as being stuck in a room, like a cell,
unable to break out and waiting each day for the cell door to
click closed and knowing that you are spending one more day inside.
Others have described it as drowning slowly.
Without a strong support system of family and friends, Robert
Downey Jr. may never have recovered, but in 2002, he finally kicked
his addiction habit for good and his career has taken off in electrifying
ways, landing the lead roles in the Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes
The question now will be whether he can remain fixated on his
bright future or succumb to the powerful allure of drugs. We can
only hope that he doesn't start stepping through the proverbial
revolving door once more.