The oldest son of Oscar winner Michael Douglas and grandson of Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas, Cameron Douglas was born into a family of stars. Now 40 years old, Cameron has recently debuted his memoir, Long Way Home, which sheds light on his struggles with addiction—a dark battle that took place behind the scenes of his family’s success.
In his book, Cameron reveals that his drug use began at age 13, progressing from marijuana use to cocaine and crystal meth. Before he turned 30, Cameron had become addicted to liquid cocaine and heroin.
At his lowest point, Cameron was injecting cocaine into his rib cage and his neck.
Interviewed by Diane Sawyer about his memoir’s release, Cameron was candid about his drug use—which culminated in a seven-year prison stay that included two years spent in solitary confinement.
Cameron’s father Michael joined Sawyer for the interview, and spent time trying to retrace the steps of his son’s addiction, stating, “You rack your brain and you take it personally in the beginning, you start blaming yourself. Then you look at your genetic makeup. I should’ve changed my priorities. My career was first. My career came before my family.”
With two Oscars from production and acting roles under his belt, Michael’s career skyrocketed around the time that Cameron was born. Cameron’s mother, Diandra Luker, was the daughter of an Austrian diplomat, and remained married to Michael until 1995.
At the center of a famous family, Michael appeared to have it all. Though as Cameron fell deeper into his drug addiction, Michael grew helpless, grasping for ways to help his son. In recent interviews, the father-son duo recalled that Michael once hired two hit men to kidnap Cameron and take him to rehab.
After this incident, and at this point in Cameron’s addiction, Michael felt that either Cameron was “[…] going to kill somebody, or […] were going to get killed.”
In a heart-wrenching decision, Michael then distanced himself from his son, knowing that he needed to protect himself and his family, which included his two young children with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Cameron’s struggles continued on and off throughout the years; he was arrested for drug offenses several times before pleading guilty to heroin possession in 2010. After beginning his prison sentence, he faced more setbacks, failing multiple drug tests that led to his sentence being extended. He was finally released in 2016.
When asked if his family, who are notedly private people, if they were affected by his decision to write such a personal story, Cameron told Variety that they encouraged him to do it.
“Then I realized it’s the ultimate way for my father and my mother to express their love for me, saying, ‘You have a story to tell that we think can be beneficial. Even though that will inevitably shine a light on pieces of our life that we’d have rather left in the past, for the greater good and because we love you, we’re giving you our blessing,’” he said.
Today, speaking openly about his battle, Cameron is healthy and devoted to his family, which now includes a daughter of his own. Cameron and Michael are stronger than ever, and have spoken out about the situation with bravery and respect for each other.
Cameron’s story will undoubtedly have an effect on the community, allowing more people to recognize that they are not alone in their struggle.
While addiction carries a stigma, recovery can also be a tricky topic to navigate. By bringing attention to the hope that can be unearthed from the depths of a hopeless situation, we are one step closer to winning the fight.
Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.