Michael Douglas Discusses Addiction With Marc Maron

By David Konow 11/21/18

“I got sober. I was in rehab in 1991. Probably more alcohol but drugs were a part of it.” 

Michael Douglas opened up to Marc Maron about addiction and sobriety on his podcast.

Academy Award-winning actor Michael Douglas is no stranger to substance use disorder. The Basic Instinct star has been to rehab, his son has battled heroin addiction and he also lost a brother to an overdose.

Yet in a recent interview on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, Douglas admitted that he’s currently “not really” sober.

“I got sober. I was in rehab in 1991. Probably more alcohol but drugs were a part of it,” he explained, according to Radar Online.

The 74-year-old actor says that today, “Everything is a question of moderation and all of that but just not the way you wake up in the morning anymore (wanting more). You have to be careful of the fact that… I have had addiction issues in my family. I have lost a brother, Eric.” (In an interview with the Daily Mail, Douglas said, “I drink in moderation, I don’t get drunk, I monitor myself pretty well.”)

Douglas then spoke about his son Cameron, who was addicted to heroin and served time in prison for selling meth and heroin possession in 2009. While he was incarcerated, four-and-a-half years were added to his sentence when he was caught smuggling in drugs for his “personal use.”

“He is fine,” Douglas says. “He is doing really well. But I think you learn about genetics amongst other things that you have to be careful.”

When Douglas went to rehab in the early '90s, he also reportedly went in for sex addiction.

In 2015, he told the Daily Mail, “I had an alcohol issue—I’d just lost my stepfather and it was a good rehab session; it certainly helped me find out a couple of things. Basic Instinct had just come out and I don’t remember who the clever editor was in London, but they came up with ‘sex addiction.’ It became a new disease. No one had heard of that up until then, but it’s stuck with me ever since. And it still pops up now and again.”

With his son Cameron’s incarceration, Douglas realized that he followed the same path as an absentee father, much like when his own father Kirk wasn’t there for him when he was growing up.

He told Today in 2010, “I’ve taken blame about being a bad father—if being a bad father is working your butt off trying to create a career at one time.” Douglas said that Cameron’s mother, Diandra Luker, had alcoholism in her family as well.

“Then you finally end up with who you choose to hang out with,” Douglas continued. “In Cameron’s position, he took a lot of lowlifes and he was a very attractive target to hang out with, and I don’t think that helped, either… I’m willing to take the hit.” 

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.