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Dax Shepard reveals he relapsed after 16 years of sobriety

Opioid crisis tearing families apart
Opioid crisis tearing families apart 02:14

Dax Shepard revealed this week on his popular podcast, "Armchair Expert," that he relapsed after 16 years of sobriety.

Shepard shared the unfiltered story of his struggle with the painkiller Vicodin, which stemmed from a motorcycle accident in 2012 and subsequent injuries. 

While Shepard said he initially had "no problem" with taking Vicodin, administered by his wife, Kristen Bell, he noted that he started to struggle when he was subsequently given the responsibility of ensuring his father, who had been diagnosed with cancer, took his own prescribed painkillers.  

"So I give him a bunch of Percocet and then I go, 'I have a prescription for this, and I was in a motorcycle accident, and I'm gonna take some too,'" Shepard said, adding that he "probably took twice of what my other prescription was."

It was then that Shepard admitted he "started panicking a bit" that he could be relapsing. He said he confessed to his wife immediately, and said she comforted him.  

"And I did just move on and it was fine," he said.

Kristen Bell (R) and husband actor Dax Shepard arrive for the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Shepard suffered several more injuries this year, and said he started getting "shadier and shadier" with his painkiller use. He shared that he started purchasing pills for the first time more recently, but he knew he needed to quit when he started lying to the people around him.

"I was just very scared and I felt very, very lonely," Shepard said.

Shepard said he came clean to his podcast co-host, Monica Padman, and Bell at the same time in recent weeks, giving them all of his remaining pills, after struggling to get clean privately. He apologized profusely, saying he was "embarrassed" to tell the story both because of his ego and how his public sobriety had inspired so many people. 

He also didn't want his relapse to affect his wife and her experiences with the press. "I'm sorry and embarrassed that I've put other people in this situation," he said.

Earlier this month, Shepard celebrated his 16th year of sobriety during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, but said he was high and called it "the worst hour of my life." 

He said he was able to share his addiction story during a meeting just 24 hours after being off opiates, saying he felt optimistic for the first time in a long time. 

Shepard recorded the episode of the podcast on Monday, when he was seven days sober. He said he is still "very proud" of being 16 years sober from alcohol and cocaine, adding, "I now feel again like my life's going to get better." 

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