Michael Douglas Gets Candid About Son’s Drug Addiction
There have been many stories of the children of celebrities going down the wrong path. These stories usually end with a rehab stay and a vow to stay out of the headlines. For Michael Douglas’ oldest son, Cameron, things did not go that smoothly. Cameron was sentenced to five years in prison in 2010 for possession of heroin and selling methamphetamine. While serving his sentence, time was added after it was discovered he had smuggled drugs into the prison. Cameron was released in 2017. Two years later, Cameron and Michael are reflecting on the former’s battle with addiction.
The father-son duo, whose relationship is stronger than ever, sat down for an interview. In the interview, Cameron opened up about how teenage experimentation with drugs and alcohol eventually became a full-blown addiction. As Cameron discussed how he got to the point of arrest, Michael revealed how helpless he and ex-wife Diandra felt as Cameron’s parents.
Being the son of a Hollywood icon may seem like a sweet life, but it’s one that Cameron Douglas struggled with. The oldest son of Michael Douglas, Cameron has battled with addiction for the majority of his life.
Michael admitted he wasn’t very involved in Cameron’s upbringing, something he’s gained perspective on with time. “When you’re busy all the time, you don’t think about a whole lot of things other than the realities that are in front of you,” Michael told AARP in 2016.
At that time, Michael was visiting Cameron twice a month at a New York prison. Cameron was completing what would be a nearly eight-year jail sentence. He’s been out for two years now, and Cameron and Michael reflected on Cameron’s battle with addiction.
Cameron’s story began like many others, dabbling with drinking and drugs as a teen. It escalated quickly, however. In his 20s, he was carrying a gun and dealing methamphetamines. “I hated the wreckage I saw in my life because of drugs, but I just couldn’t stop,” he explained.
For Michael and ex-wife Diandra Luker, it was horrifying watching their son descend further into this world. Their attempts to get him help were shut down by Cameron. “There were moments when hope dwindled … and then it’s just a train out of the station,” Michael explained. “Life became a series of crises. I thought I was going to lose him.”
Cameron’s first arrest came in 1999 when he was arrested in New York for cocaine possession. That wasn’t enough to dissuade him from using. He was brought up on another charge a few years later but still persisted.
At his worst, Cameron was shooting up cocaine and quietly dealing with drug-induced seizures. “It’s the sneaky power, the stranglehold that addiction has when you’re in the throes of it,” Cameron noted. “When you get that far down the rabbit hole, there are a couple options: there’s prison and then there’s death.”
While Cameron’s addiction didn’t bring him to death’s door, it did land him in prison. A 2009 DEA sting operation led to him being sentenced to five years for possession of heroin and selling methamphetamine.
Cameron’s sentence was later extended after he was discovered to be smuggling drugs into the prison. He received another four and a half years, the longest-ever sentence imposed for obtaining a small amount of drugs in prison for personal use.
While Michael by no means believed his son should have gotten special treatment and agrees with his original sentencing, he was deeply outraged by the extension of the sentence. In a 2013 interview with New York Magazine, he expressed his frustration.
“I have gone from being a very disappointed but loving father who felt his son got what was due him to realizing that Lady Justice’s blindfold is really slipping,” Michael said. “I’m not defending Cameron as a drug dealer or drug addict, but I believe, because of his last name, he’s been [made] an example.”
Cameron’s release from prison into a Brooklyn halfway house was a chance to start over, one he readily took. Today, he is raising his young daughter Lua with longtime girlfriend Viviane Thibes.
Cameron’s also slowly working his way back into the family business. He appeared in a number of projects from 2003 up until his arrest in 2009. He’s also showing appreciation for a family that never gave up on him.
Cameron wants to help other addicts on their path to recovery. He wants to encourage others to “seek help – and maybe save a life.” He’s starting by detailing his own story in the memoir Long Way Home.