Michael Douglas Opens Up About His Son Cameron’s Harrowing Drug Addiction

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It might be easy to think that being the child of a celebrity would make life easy. Perhaps it does in some ways, but it by no means guarantees a happy or easy life.

Actor Michael Douglas is known for his roles in films including “Wall Street,” “Fatal Attraction” and “Basic Instinct.” He may be a household name, but that didn’t make life easy for his son, Cameron Douglas.

Back in 2019, in an interview with PEOPLE, Michael and Cameron discussed a time when Cameron was not only addicted to drugs but also selling them. This was not an easy time for either of them.

Cameron started doing drugs when he was just 13 years old. At first, he was drinking and smoking pot, but then it progressed to an addiction to heroin and cocaine. By the time he was in his 20s, he was selling methamphetamines to pay for his own drug addiction.

It got to the point when his dad told him that he had to stop doing drugs or he would be cut off from his family. Cameron didn’t stop. Cameron was not happy with the direction his life had taken, but he didn’t know how to stop. He explained, “I hated the wreckage I saw in my life because of drugs, but I just couldn’t stop.” He added, “It’s the sneaky power, the stranglehold that addiction has when you’re in the throes of it. When you get that far down the rabbit hole, there are a couple options: there’s prison and then there’s death.”

It got to the point where Cameron was doing cocaine twice a day and having seizures as a result. In 2009, he was arrested, and that actually probably saved his life.

Obviously Cameron’s parents weren’t happy about their son’s addiction, but they didn’t know how to help. In fact, Michael felt helpless. He said, “There were moments when hope dwindled… and then it’s just a train out of the station. Life became a series of crises. I thought I was going to lose him.”

Cameron believes that sometimes there really is nothing family members can do to help an addict. Sometimes they need to hit rock bottom. He explained, “I think that at a certain point the family member or loved one of someone that’s in the throes of addiction has to let go and let them find their way. Because at a certain point there’s nothing anyone else can do.”

Cameron ended up spending eight years behind bars for dealing meth and cocaine. When he was finally released from prison in 2016, he was a different person. While in prison he decided to change. He explained, “For whatever reason, something inside of me was shattered and I remember clearly saying to myself, ‘There’s really two roads open to me at this point.'” He chose the road to recovery and to reconciliation with his family.