Cameron Douglas Opens Up About 'Dark' Moments of His Past — and Renewed Hope as a Dad of 2 (Exclusive)

Cameron Douglas tells PEOPLE about the changes recovery and fatherhood have made to his life with his two kids

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images; cameron douglas/instagram Cameron Douglas and kids
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images; cameron douglas/instagram Cameron Douglas and kids

Cameron Douglas is enjoying being present with his kids.

Speaking with PEOPLE about his recent episode of online recovery talkshow Addiction Talk by American Addiction Centers, the actor, 44, opens up how he navigates the relationships in his family as someone in recovery.

When it comes to his siblings — both dad Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones's two children (Carys, 20, and Dylan, 22) and mom Diandra Luker's three children — Cameron is open about his past.

"They've all read my book, so they know pretty much all the ins and the outs, but thankfully, they have not needed any of my expertise in that area," he tells PEOPLE.

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Related:Michael Douglas and Son Cameron Team Up for Family Drama About 'Love and Forgiveness'

"They're all fantastic. One of them just graduated from college. The other one is a sophomore, and then the other three are on their way next year. They're all doing fantastic."

He plans on taking the same approach when it comes to his own kids — son Ryder, 2½, and daughter Lua, 5½, whom he shares with long-time girlfriend, Viviane Thibes, 44 — and hopes to take on the topic with openness and honesty.

"I'm certainly not going to try to hide anything from them. The idea is to be in a position that I'm feeling good about and making them feel good about. All that stuff is just in the past. Maybe some interesting stories for the campfire one day," he says.

Fatherhood has changed the way he looks at life, as has his recovery. When it comes to his own kids, "I can't help but be hyperaware of little traits that I see in my kids and maybe where they could end up going one way or another as they get older. I think it's helpful to have that perspective earlier on, so you can nudge them in a direction where they can utilize all their traits positively."

Cameron Douglas Instagram
Cameron Douglas Instagram

"My lifestyle is all about staying healthy and focused," the father of two notes. "There's nothing better than two beautiful children to keep you focused. And their mother, Viviane, is such a fantastic mother and so very helpful."

Though they're still young, Cameron can see some of his family's signature creative spark in his little ones, something that means a lot to him.

"It's interesting. My son is just over 2, and he's got a great disposition — always has a smile on his face and loves meeting new people," he shares.

"But my daughter, she does really amazing imitations," he continues. "I don't think she realizes it, but the first time she did it, she was imitating one of her friends, who is the son of a close friend of mine. And she didn't preface the imitation by saying who she was imitating. She just started doing it, and I knew who it was. It was so spot on that it was a little creepy, like whoa."

"It's interesting because my whole family is involved in the arts, from my grandparents to my uncles, my father, my siblings. It's just genetics, and she doesn't even realize it," he laughs.

The support of that family has been one of the driving forces in Cameron's recovery.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Michael and Cameron Douglas
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Michael and Cameron Douglas

"I think when somebody is really struggling, to have love and support is crucial. Because at least for myself, there are some parts of my life that were so dark that I was maybe starting to lose hope for myself," he says. "Then having the love and support of people that you also love and respect, it was just critical for me."

Cameron also admits to being influenced by his dad's parenting, saying he's taken from it to "lead by example."

"And just being there for them," he adds. "It's so important to be available to them."

As he explores different creative projects, he's also enjoying being able to spend so much time with his kids at this stage in their lives.

"Even when they're naughty, they're still nice. It's amazing watching how their vocabulary is growing every day and they're getting new perspectives," he says. "They just pick up everything at school and from the cartoons they watch, and it's a lot of fun watching them develop their sense of humor."

"Honestly, there's nobody that I like being around more than them. They're such pure energies. It's a lot of fun and I'm really enjoying it."

In fact, the whole family is soaking up time with the little ones, including the actor's parents.

"I think they're enjoying them just as much as I am," Cameron shares. "I've been spending a lot of time with them and it's fun being the grandparent, right? Because you don't really have to deal with the disciplining or any of that stuff, you just spoil them and have fun with them."

Cameron continues, "They love spending time with both of their grandparents and all their uncles and aunts. It's really nice that everybody's been able to spend a lot of time together because it can be difficult when people are living all over the place. Time goes by quickly."

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