Actor Robert Downey Jr. has enjoyed a four-decades-plus career with two Academy Award nominations, three Golden Globe wins, numerous other award nominations and wins, notably starring as Tony Stark in Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes, and he is currently married to Susan Downey and has two sons (one from a previous marriage).
Downey Jr. has had a troubled history of his own with addiction issues. Early on in 1982, he dropped out of Santa Monica High School to pursue acting full time. His father, Robert Downey Sr., himself a drug addict, exposed his son to drugs at a very early age, and Downey Jr. would go on to struggle with drug abuse for decades. The actor’s drug-related problems escalated from 1996 to 2001, leading to numerous arrests, rehab visits and incarcerations, and he was eventually fired from the TV series “Ally McBeal.”
From the 2013 Daily Mail article:
” To a large extent, his [Robert Downey Jr.] myriad problems were the legacy of a recklessly liberal upbringing by his parents, underground film-maker Robert Downey[Sr.] and Elsie, his actress mother, in bohemian Greenwich Village, New York…His father cast his son in his first film, the avant-garde comedy Pound, at the age of five…But Downey Sr was a notorious drug addict and one day, as he watched the eight-year-old Robert drinking the white wine he had given him, he offered to let him try a cannabis joint.”
Emerging clean and sober in 2003, Downey Jr. climbed out of that big hole and built up his career with Gothika, Good Night, and Good Luck. A Scanner Darkly, Tropic Thunder and the films of the Iron Man, Avengers and Sherlock Holmes franchises.
In 2005, Downey Jr. married Susan Downey, who gave birth to their son, Exton Elias Downey, on February 7, 2012. Downey also has another son, Indio Falconer Downey, born September 7, 1993, from his first marriage to Deborah Falconer, from whom he was officially divorced in 2004.
Sadly, TMZ reports that the oldest child of Robert Downey Jr., Indio, has been arrested. Downey Jr. released the following statement to TMZ:
“Unfortunately there’s a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it. Also, there is a lot of family support and understanding, and we’re all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man he’s capable of being. We’re grateful to the Sheriff’s department for their intervention, and believe Indio can be another recovery success story instead of a cautionary tale.”
Robert Downey Jr.’s son was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon, law enforcement sources tell TMZ. Indio was observed smoking something out of a pipe according to the website.
An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy pulled the car over, did a search and allegedly found cocaine in Indio’s possession. He was arrested and taken to jail for possession of cocaine.
Indio, 20, posted the $10K bail and was released just after midnight Sunday.
Frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics in the area of addiction is expert Akikur Mohammad, M.D., the CEO and founder of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center. Dr. Mohammad is a board-certified psychiatrist with a second board certification in addiction medicine. In addition to his role as Inspire Malibu’s CEO, Dr. Mohammad is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Keck School of Medicine at USC where he is active in teaching medical students and residents the subject of addiction medicine and psychiatry.
Dr. Mohammad tells Monsters and Critics: “Robert Downey’s Jr.’s son drug possession arrest underscores that drug addiction is a chronic disease. Numerous scientific research studies support the fact that drug, and alcohol, addiction is a chronic disease with a strong genetic component, just like every other chronic disease including asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
“It’s disheartening that the young man’s disease is being sensationally publicized. After all, would we be throwing him into the limelight if it were discovered he had diabetes?
“The bottom line is that alcohol and drug addiction are chronic diseases. The debate on whether they or not is over. All the leading health and medical organization in the U.S. and worldwide support this contention, including the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization. But like every chronic disease, substance abuse addiction can be successfully managed with evidence-based treatment that includes medication, counseling and lifestyle modification. Robert Downey, Jr., is the greatest testament that a sufferer of alcohol-drug addiction can lead a successful, productive life.”