Indio Downey: The Cost of Drug Addiction

Indio Falconer Downey, the son of actor Robert Downey Jr., was arrested Sunday, June 29, 2014 on drug possession charges. At the time of his arrest, Indio was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped around 2 PM. At the time of the traffic stop, Indio was found to have what appeared to be cocaine as well as a smoking pipe. He posted bail around 9 PM that evening and was released.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. photographed by the Ca...

Actor Robert Downey Jr. photographed by the California Department of Corrections (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Father’s Drug Problems

Indio’s father had many well-publicized drug addiction problems throughout the 1990s, attending a number of rehab facilities in an attempt to beat his drug addiction. The 49-year old actor says he was introduced to drugs by his father at the age of eight, and by 20 was a full-fledged addict. Just two years after Indio was born in 1994, the actor was stopped by police driving his Porsche on Sunset Boulevard naked and in possession of cocaine, heroin and a .357 Magnum. Just days before he was due to be charged for those crimes, he was arrested after being found passed out in a neighbor’s home. Indio’s father spent 12 months in prison and, in 2000, when Indio was six, Robert Downey Jr. was arrested in a Palm Springs hotel room with cocaine and wearing a Wonder Woman Costume. Before a preliminary hearing could be held on the charges, Indio’s father was arrested for being under the influence of an undisclosed stimulant. Indio’s mother, Deborah Falconer, divorced his father in 2004.

Indio’s Drug Abuse

According to reports, Indio’s father has been helping his son deal with addiction problems for many years. Indio has been in and out of treatment centers, and some reports say he had remained clean and sober for some time, in some part due to his father’s counseling. In 2013, there were reports that Indio was being treated for a “pill problem,” which his mother claimed was not a significant problem. According to Deborah Falconer, Indio was taking “one pill a day” and that he was not addicted. She said Indio was being treated with “holistic, natural and orthomolecular therapy.” After Indio’s arrest on Sunday, however, Robert thanked the Sheriff’s Department for their intervention, stating that there was a “genetic component to addiction” and that “Indio likely inherited it.” Robert has been clean and sober since late 2001.

Children of Addicts

One of the unknown costs of addiction is that children of addicts are eight times more likely to develop an addiction than those whose parents are not addicts. Many studies have confirmed that addiction is a combination of genetics and poor coping skills. In addition, sons of addicted fathers are four times more at risk for developing an addiction than the sons of non-addicted fathers. Much of this is because addicted parents often lack the ability to provide structure or discipline, and the sons of addicted fathers receive harsher discipline than those of non-addicted fathers. These statistics clearly show that the cost of addiction on offspring is high, and indicates why Indio may have turned to substance abuse.

It is clear that this recent arrest shows that Indio may be facing an escalating drug problem, similar to what his father faced in the 1990s. After seeing his father as an addict, as well as the well-known genetic connection regarding addiction, Indio may need intensive therapy in order to fight his addictions.

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