Douglas opened up to PEOPLE about his life after serving time, saying despite the years spent apart, his family is “closer now than ever.”
“In difficult times, we tend to come closer,” he said at the Los Angeles Mission Legacy of Vision Gala on Thursday. “Our family is closer now than ever. It is a beautiful sort of trait that we have.”
Douglas said he has an especially close bond with his father, actor Michael Douglas.
“My father and I have an amazing relationship,” he said. “I love spending time with him, and I will spend as much time with him as I can.”
Douglas was released from prison in 2016 after nearly seven years following a drug conviction. In 2010, he was sentenced to a five-year prison term for possession of heroin and selling methamphetamine.
His sentence was extended after he confessed to smuggling drugs into prison.
“I learned that I am a survivor, for sure,” said Douglas of his time spent behind bars. “I really took that time to study. I studied, I read, I educated my mind and my soul. What got me out of that rack every day was the thought that I would do everything that I could do in that day to put myself in the best position for when I finally found my freedom.”
Since being released, Douglas has been living in New York City where he spends time with his pregnant girlfriend Viviane Thibes. PEOPLE confirmed the two were expecting in early August. “Everyone is thrilled for him,” a source previously said, adding, “Michael is looking forward to being a grandfather.”
With all the changes happening in his life, Douglas says his sobriety is still his number one priority.
“The sobriety is extremely important,” he said. “Without that, you revert back to places that you do not want to be. That’s it, you stay focused, you put it first, and you move forward.”