LOS ANGELES – Martin Sheen became "fanatic" when his son Charlie was using drugs.
"When a life is at stake and it's your child, you become fearless in a lot of ways. I mean, you just become fanatic," the 67-year-old actor says in the July/August issue of AARP The Magazine. "Nothing ever gets done unless it's done by a fanatic."
Sheen, who portrayed fictional President Josiah Bartlet on NBC's "The West Wing," tells the magazine how he intervened to save his actor-son.
"The only way I got to Charlie, frankly, was because he'd skipped out of the hospital. I had to pay the bill," Sheen says. "In paying the bill, I got to see why he was in there. He'd consumed an illegal substance; he was on probation. ... This was a criminal matter. And so that was the wedge; that was the leverage I had. That is what I took to the court; that's what I took to the sheriff. It was the only way I got him."
The veteran TV and film star, who battled alcoholism himself, also turned to Alcoholics Anonymous to help his son.
"I got sober through Catholicism, through my faith," Sheen tells the magazine. "I only got involved with AA when I was trying desperately to find a way to help Charlie, because I didn't have any skills."
Sheen also talked about his career and politics, saying he doesn't plan to run for public office.
"I'm not qualified," he says. "It's crossed my ego. I feel like a public servant. I feel like a responsible citizen. But I couldn't do it professionally. I don't have the temperament."
Charlie Sheen, 42, stars in CBS' "Two and a Half Men."