Cameron Douglas revealed his life spiraled when he was just seven after he discovered his Hollywood star father was cheating on his mother, leading him to get hooked on weed at 13 and go on to deal crystal meth.
The 40-year-old opened up on his dark struggle with drug abuse with ABC News' Diane Sawyer on Tuesday night along with his actor father Michael Douglas, 75, who admitted 'I did not think that you were going to make it'.
Cameron promoted his new book Long Way Home in which he revealed he was playing 'chicken' with his life and started to abuse drugs at the age of 13 with marijuana, which escalated into snorting cocaine at 15, sampling crystal meth at 17, doing liquid cocaine by 19 and heroin at 26.
He confessed he struggled to live in the shadow of his father Michael and Hollywood legend grandfather Kirk Douglas, 102, and grew up watching their ritzy, partying lifestyle.
Cameron says he journey with drugs began from a young age, seeing his bigshot father and famous friends mingle in the house with abusive substances.
At the age of seven his mother Diandra Luker told him his father was having an affair and he began to cry himself to sleep and binge eat.
By 13 when he was shipped off to boarding school, Cameron says he tried marijuana and felt for the first time the 'pressure lift' and found it as a 'path out of his loneliness'.
'One thing after another, one thing after another. Just caught up in himself. It was an 18 year nightmare,' his father Michael Douglas recalled.
Cameron's drug use got him kicked out of school and quickly escalated to cocaine and heroin. At one point he was so desperate to get high he’d shoot cocaine into his neck and rib cage.
Michael Douglas was 34 when his son was born and said didn't realize the pressure the long shadow of the Douglas paternal lineage would feel.
'My career was first. My career came before my family. My marriage was not great. I should've focused more on my family but that's hard to say when you're in the midst of a career when in your own mind you're stepping out of your father's shadow, trying to create a life of your own,' Michael confessed.
Michael eventually divorced Cameron's mother in 2000 after 23 years of marriage and married actress Catherine Zeta Jones.
He said after years of watching his son fruitlessly go in and out of rehab centers, he was forced to give him an ultimatum.
'You're my son and I love you but I think you're going to die,’ Douglas said one day after reaching his wit’s end.
'I was not willing to emotionally commit anymore,' Douglas recalled saying. Cameron replied: 'Do you not love me anymore, dad?'
Douglas than limited his son's money, leading him to turn to robbing local stores with a Glock in hand. He called robbing an elderly woman for chump change of $20 the 'lowest point' of his life.
Cameron eventually turned to dealing crystal meth disguised as bath salts in gift baskets and ended up raking in thousands.
He sold crystal meth for a year in a half until he was busted in 2009 in a sting operation in the Gansevoort hotel in Manhattan, where he later pleaded guilty to heroin possession and conspiracy to distribute drugs.
He was originally sentenced to five years in prison, but in 2011, Cameron was issued an additional four-and-a-half years for possession of contraband that tested positive for cocaine and heroin.
He ended up spending in total seven years behind bars in federal prison - two in solitary confinement. But he says it was prison where he joined addict support groups and started meditating, that turned his life around.
'It was getting away from addiction and allowing me to see things more clearly and then the constant love and support of my family – never giving up on me,' Cameron said.
He received a rude awakening in jail when he learned his father was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer.
'And I've never seen somebody's body change so drastically. I mean, it's a real -- it's a real fight for your life,' Cameron said when his father visited him following his chemotherapy.
He recalled his grandfather visiting him behind bars saying: 'Do what you have to do to come back home.'
On June 13, 2016 he finally left prison vowing to never turn back to his old ways.
Now he has a new life with his baby daughter Lua, now two, with Brazilian former model Vivian Thibes.
He's taking acting classes and has some movie parts but is still on probation. He proudly notes that he takes regular drug tests that have shown no trace of cocaine or meth for the past five years.
Closing out the interview Cameron asked a final question to his father saying: 'I wonder if you truly didn't think I was going to make it out or if you held on to a bit of hope that I was going to pull through.'
'Yes. Hope, yes. But no, I did not think you were - I did not think you were going to make it,' Michael admitted, his eyes shining with emotion.