Robert Downey Jr.’s 20-year-old son Indio Downey was arrested Sunday July 29th in West Hollywood, CA for cocaine possession. The 20-year-old was a passenger in the car that was pulled over after officers allegedly saw Downey smoking from a pipe. This is unfortunately not the first time we are hearing about substance abuse issues for 20 year-old Downey. Last year we wrote about young Downey’s struggle with pain pill abuse and subsequently his stay in rehab. His recent arrest suggests that he is still very much struggling with addiction.
Addiction & Genetics
Robert Downey Jr. very publicly had his own struggles with addiction, which landed him in-and-out of rehabilitation centers and prison during the 1980’s and 1990’s. He has been clean now since 2001, but the struggles his son is going through give rise to the question of the role that genetics plays in addiction and families.
How much can be blamed on one’s genetic make-up? According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), a person’s family history greatly affects their likelihood and tendency towards addiction. The NCADD goes on to say “Whether a person decides to use alcohol or drugs is a choice, influenced by their environment–peers, family, and availability. But, once a person uses alcohol or drugs, the risk of developing alcoholism or drug dependence is largely influenced by genetics.”
Family support can make a big difference in helping a person go to treatment and stay sober. Robert Downey Jr. released a statement showing his support of his son and we hope that Indio is able to get treatment and find lasting recovery.
If you know that you have a family history of addiction it is important to recognize the signs in yourself and in that of your children early and seek help. Our addiction treatment counselors can help you to better understand the genetic risk factors that might be contributing to your addiction. We are here to help, so please call us today.
Destination Hope is a full service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment center. We offer a comprehensive family program and our clinical team has helped hundreds of people overcome addiction.