Inside Michael and Cameron Douglas' Family History of Addiction

Michael and Cameron Douglas may have overcome addiction, but the trait runs in the family and not all members have been so lucky

Cameron Douglas, son of Michael Douglas, has turned his life around and become sober after nearly two decades of drug use that began during his teenage years.

Addiction has touched the Douglas family in many ways over the years, and as Cameron shares in an upcoming memoir, Long Way Home, excerpted exclusively in this week’s issue, the journey has been anything but easy.

Michael, now 75, checked into rehab in 1992 for “drinking and drugging,” Cameron writes in Long Way Home.

The Kominsky Method actor’s half-brother, Eric, died of a drug overdose in 2004 after a long battle with drugs and alcohol. He was 46.

Cameron’s grandfather, the legendary actor Kirk Douglas, 102, spoke to ABC News in 2007 about the death of his son, saying, “My wife Annie and I discuss it. We know for years and years we tried to do everything we could.”

“But nothing helped.”

For more on Michael and Cameron Douglas, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

michael and cameron Doug
Cameron and Michael Douglas discuss Cameron’s drug addiction and path to sobriety in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. Alexei Hay

Michael’s other brother, Joel, also struggled with alcohol addiction, according to the harrowing, but ultimately inspiring, memoir.

Cameron’s own trouble with addiction began when he was a teenager. By 13, he writes he was “buying weed in Central Park and experimenting with mushrooms and acid.”

His spiral into drug addiction curtailed a promising career as a deejay and actor. Drugs were “for me, a path out of loneliness,” Cameron writes.

'Ant-Man and The Wasp' film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles - 25 Jun 2018
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In 2009, Cameron, now 40, was arrested in a DEA sting operation that landed him behind bars. He faced a five-year prison term for conspiracy to distribute meth and cocaine.

In all, Cameron spent nearly eight years in prison — his sentence was extended for possession while he was incarcerated. He was released in 2016, sober and a changed man dedicated to making his life matter.

Today, he is raising his beloved 22-month-old daughter Lua with longtime girlfriend Viviane Thiebes, 41, a yoga instructor, working on restarting his acting career and feeling deep gratitude that his family never gave up on him.

By sharing his story, Cameron hopes he can encourage other addicts to “seek help – and maybe save a life.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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