Danny Trejo "refuses to blame" his parents for his addiction problems.
The 'Con Air' actor - who has three children with ex-wife Debbie Shreve - began smoking marijuana when he was just eight years old and was hooked on heroin as a teenager before enduring numerous stints in prison, so he's trying to be a more present and loving father than his own mom and dad were.
He said: "I got clean in ’68 in prison. I then got out of prison in 1969… It seemed like I did better, but there was still something missing.
"I didn’t think turning me on to marijuana was abuse when I was eight. I thought it was sharing. It was a form of abuse. I didn’t know.
"So when you finally start realising, 'Wait a minute man, this is not right,' that’s when the healing really begins.
"But I had to do it. I had to get clean. I wouldn’t have gotten to this point in my life if I didn’t take that step. I would have just stayed the same person.
"Now, I tell my kids I love them every day. I’ll call them up and say, 'I love you and you’re the apple of my eye.'
"I guess I’m doing everything my parents didn’t do. And yet, I refuse to blame them. That was what they knew."
The 77-year-old star - who had numerous stints in prison in the 1960s - credits his faith for having kept him sober and on the right path for more than 50 years.
He told Fox News: "First of all, I made a deal with God in 1968. I said, 'If you let me die with dignity, I’ll say your name every day. And I’ll do whatever I can for my fellow inmates.'
"I never thought I was getting out of prison. And God let me out of prison.
"I got out on August 23, 1969. I have to say that with God, nothing can hurt you. Anything is possible. Without God, you’re dead. And I know I would be without the faith I have.
"I wake up every morning and say, 'Dear heavenly Father, please let me help whoever I can for my fellow man. And I’ll say your name every day and I’ll do whatever I can.'
"And it’s been working. He lived up to his deal. I’m living up to mine. I even asked God a couple of days ago, 'How am I doing?' He said, 'Trejo, you’re doing great. Keep it up. You’re almost out of hell.' "