Celebrities and Addiction
According to research done by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 20 million Americans suffer from a drug or alcohol-related issue. This number makes it easy to understand the reason behind the saying, “addiction does not discriminate.”
No matter the background, upbringing, success, career, drug and substance abuse, anyone could be a victim. Unfortunately, a major subset of the vast majority of drug abusers all over the world is celebrities. Celebrities are often in the news for all the wrong reasons, including misbehaving at parties, over-speeding on a motorway, and drug-related misadventures.
One major reason why addiction is common among celebrities might be accessibility. Because of the nature of their job, many rich celebrities have much greater access to the vast majority of addictive drugs and substances. Another thing of note is that celebrities live very public lives. As a result, most celebrities have to deal with addiction publicly, which makes it much more difficult to handle.
In this article, we gain inspiration from a famous actor, Robert Downey Jr. Yes, Iron Man! Robert battled a very public battle with addiction and has shared with the world how he overcame addiction, and sustained sobriety.
Who Is Robert Downey Jr.?
Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most famous Hollywood actors. He had major successes in his youth and middle age. The in-between period of his life was characterized by substance abuse and legal drama. In 2014, he was listed by Forbes as the highest-paid Hollywood actor. He is famed for his great acting prowess and successes in Iron man and The Avengers.
Early Life and Battle with Substance Abuse
Robert Downey Jr. was born and raised in a family of entertainers. His father was an underground filmmaker and his mother, an actress. He was introduced to drugs by his father, who let him try marijuana at a party. Robert Downey Jr. explained that doing drugs with his dad was a form of bonding.
Later in his life, Robert Downey Jr. had to leave for Hollywood to pursue his acting career. His career kicked off with a film called “weird science.” His feature in the file earned him a place in the “Brat pack,” which led to advancement in his career.
After a great performance in movies, “Less Than Zero (1985)” and “Chaplin (1992),” it was noticed that a struggle with alcohol and drug use took hold of him off-camera. Robert Downey Jr. was able to stay sober while he was working but, after some time, he would take up where he left off and begin using again.
A cycle of addiction and legal troubles
In 1995, there were reports of him smoking heroin and taking cocaine. These led to some arrests and a few days in rehabilitation centers. Then, in the summer of 1996, Robert Downey Jr. was arrested for reckless behavior influenced by drug abuse. One special incident was when he was stopped for over-speeding and was found with heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded gun in the passenger seat. In another incident, he was arrested for wandering and passing out in a room in his neighbor’s house. This was the beginning of his downward spiral.
Robert Downey Jr., for the next few years, was in and out of rehabilitation centers in California because of addiction. Finally, he was sentenced to 36 months in a state prison. He spent 12 months in prison, and then he was paroled.
He was arrested twice in one year and then sent back to rehab for six months in a state facility called “Wavelengths International,” which is one of the many addiction treatment facilities mandated by the court for him to visit. This was the worst period of Downey’s addiction: he had lost everything, his wife left him; he had reached rock bottom. The addiction almost drove him to bankruptcy. It was at this point that he made a decision, one of the best decisions any addict can make – one that changed his life.
It was 2002, Robert Downley Jr. was making a comeback after some time in rehab. He resurfaced in Hollywood with roles in “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang” and the box office hit “Zodiac.” He became very committed to his recovery in 2003 when he was cast in an acting role in the movie “Gothika.” He got married to the producer of that very movie in 2005, and now they have two children. His dedication to recovering led him to be cast as Iron man in the “Iron man” series and one of the biggest movie franchises in the world, “The Avengers.”
Today, he lives quietly with his family in Malibu. He attributes his recovery to his wife, Susan and his children and a 12-step program for helping him overcome his addiction and stay sober. His career is also a big anchor to his sobriety. Robert Downey Jr. and his wife also founded a film production company, Team Downey.