Cameron Douglas opens up about drug addiction

The son of Michael Douglas talks about his addiction and years spent in prison in an interview with Diane Sawyer about his new book, “Long Way Home.”
6:09 | 10/23/19

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Transcript for Cameron Douglas opens up about drug addiction
And it is time now for our cover story. We never knew the despair that actor Michael Douglas says he was facing when he called it a nightmare that lasted 18 years. His son coming from the line of Hollywood royalty. Both his father and grandfather, Kirk Douglas, legendary actors but Cameron's journey led him down a dark path with drug addiction and even years in federal prison. Well, he opens up about it all in his new book "Long way home" and he joins us now. Cameron Douglas, welcome, my friend. Welcome. Thank you. I mean, what a wild ride and story that it has been but I'm curious for you to see yourself. You and your dad, see you talking last night in that special. How was that for you to watch you both talk about it. Well, first of all, I think they did a beautiful job putting that together. You know, seeing my family, my father and I doing that segment was actually really healing for us, you know. We were talking about things that we would never talk about just him and I together and so that was a beautiful thing that came out of that. But what I'm really happiest about is the way this book is being received and my hope is that it's really going to be able to connect with people, people going -- struggling with addiction and families dealing with loved ones struggling with addiction. We want to show an emotional moment from our special with your father. Check it out. I want to know if you -- if you truly gave up, if you truly thought that I wasn't going to make it out where you held on to some hope that I was going to be able to pull through. Oh, I mean, hope, yes. Hope, yes, but if you're asking me, yeah, we always had hope, but, no, I did not think you were -- I did not think you were going to make it. Wow. I mean, what a moment that is and when you were active in your drug addiction your father said he had to detach himself so for you to hear that how did that affect you? That was one of the hardest things that I have ever heard, but the truth is is that my family, they never gave up on me and although, you know, there came a point when they had to pull back, which I think, you know, families dealing with people that are struggling with addiction should know that there does come a point where, unfortunately, you have to just let nature take its course, you know, and let that person either land or not and -- but my family has been so supportive and the love and support that they've showed me was enough to make me want to pull through and be a good person. Yeah, we know your mother was very supportive. Your siblings and your grandfather was very supportive as well. And I think a lot of people have the question, how did you get exposed to drugs at a young age? I think with me it really started with loneliness, you know, I remember back to like early teenage years, I always had this sort of discomfort in my own skin and, you know, that coupled with the loneliness, I think drew me towards, you know, drugs, which kind of, you know, soothe that feeling and then you find a peer group through that, but the longer that, you know -- as your addict starts to grow you begin to take on that persona and then you forget who you really are and that addict just completely takes over. You said there was a crack in you that drugs, you felt that drugs filled that crack. Yeah, there was a loneliness, there was a loneliness and a discomfort. Is that from the pressure of growing up in the family that you grew up in? I think it's just -- I think a lot of teens can relate to that, you know, just sort of a -- you know, a loneliness trying to find out where I fit in and who I fit in with and drugs seemed to pave the way, U know, and that's what makes it so dangerous. And you're a dad now. You talk about the dynamics of being a Douglas -- the son of your grandfather is a legend. Your father is a ledge Jerry seinfeld. You're the son. You have a daughter now so what does that mean to you? My daughter is amazing. She's -- it's a whole new depth of love that I never even realized I had within me. A new level of inspiration. And also, you know, you see your parents in a little bit of a different light, right because now you can really relate with them and start to see some of the things that they were going through so it's a whole new level of respect for your Yeah, that is the truth and why did you write this book and why release it now? Well, you know, right now we're living in a time where, you know, we're in an opioid epidemic. You know, this country is just drowning in addiction and, you know, I can't go back and change some of the pain and wreckage that I've caused, but what I can do is try to take that and make it useful, so that was the impetus for this book and that's what I hope it ends up doing. I hope it ends up helping people. Helping other people. What an incredible story but we're glad you made it through and you're here with us this morning, Cameron. Really do, man. Cameron's book, "Long way home" is available now. Now we'll go over to you,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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