The actor, 49, opens up in a new Vanity Fair cover story, telling the magazine of his much-publicized struggles before getting sober in 2002, "Job one is get out of that cave. A lot of people do get out but don't change."
The star, who has been promoting his upcoming drama, The Judge, at the Toronto International Film Festival, also addresses the hereditary nature of addiction. Indio, his 20-year-old son with ex-wife Deborah Falconer, was arrested for cocaine possession in June.
"He's his mother's son and he's my son, and he's come up the chasm much quicker than we did," Downey tells the magazine. "But that's typical in the Information Age; things get accelerated."
He adds, "Pick a dysfunction and it's a family problem."
"Robert clearly understands the struggle," a source told PEOPLE in July after Indio checked into rehab following his arrest.
Courtesy Vanity Fair