How Did Robert Downey Jr. Get Clean?

Most of us have seen Robert Downey Jr., esteemed American actor, and producer, at least several times on the silver screen. We know the actor as Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and that one guy from Tropic Thunder – but many of us also know the actor as somewhat of a “comeback kid,” and as a story of hope and perseverance in the face of addiction. Robert Downey Jr. publicly opened up about his struggles with substance abuse during an interview with David Letterman on the talk show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”

Downey told Letterman that he has been using chemical substances of all kinds from the age of 8 and that he dabbled in everything from prescription painkillers to cocaine and heroin. “By the way, I was drinking a lot too,” he added mid-interview. The actor’s patterns of drug abuse became public knowledge when he was first arrested in 1996 for possession of heroin, cocaine, and an unloaded .357 Magnum handgun.

Robert Downey Jr. Almost Destroyed His Career With Drugs

He was arrested once again only two weeks later, after wandering into a neighbor’s home in Malibu, California while high on drugs. Over the next several years Downey failed to comply with his probation three times, failing to submit drug tests when asked. In 1999 Downey was sentenced to three years in prison after failing to convince Malibu Superior Court Judge Lawrence J. Mira that he should be given another chance before incarceration. The actor was 34 years old at the time.

How Did Robert Downey Jr. Get Clean?

From Prison Term to Iron Man

How did Downey eventually end up getting clean and staying sober long-term? He was fired from the show Ally McBeal (for which he had previously won an Emmy) in 2000, which he joined after he had spent a year in the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison. He was arrested again in 2001 for possession of cocaine and Valium and for being under the influence of a chemical substance.

During this same year, he was ordered to attend drug rehab and was given three years of probation. After struggling for a little bit longer with chemical substances, the actor finally got sober in 2003 – and according to numerous sources, he has maintained sobriety since.

Recovery Has Been a Blessing to Robert Downey Jr.

He was cast as Iron Man in the major motion picture series, and because of his newfound sobriety, he was able to successfully portray the superhero without getting fired, arrested, or condemned even once. Downey has become a true story of inspiration for many. With the right tools in place and with a solid support system, anyone is capable of getting sober and staying clean long-term.

Try Drug Addiction Recovery With Evoke Wellness

Robert Downey Jr. has been very open about his struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism, and how he overcame that hurdle to be the man he is today. At one point during his famous David Letterman interview, Downey stated:

As the AMA will say that alcoholism or addiction is essentially a brain disease, but it’s a brain disease that people don’t want to take the cure for when it’s offered, so it’s a very insidious thing.

This is undeniably one of the biggest hurdles that stand in the way of any person who has been struggling with addiction. Because this chronic disease revolves around denial and defensiveness, it can be nearly impossible to convince someone who is in the throes of addiction to seek the professional help they need.

If you have been on the fence about seeking treatment, or if a loved one has been repeatedly refusing to consider recovery despite obvious necessity, Evoke Wellness is available to help. Our recovery program caters to men and women of all ages and in all demographics. To learn more, or to begin your drug addiction recovery journey, contact us today. If Robert Downey Jr. can pull himself out of the trenches while under intense public scrutiny, anything is possible – recovery is a possibility, no matter who you are or where you come from.

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