Dax Shepard Relapsed With Painkillers After 16 Years of Sobriety

Dax Shepard is coming clean. After 16 years of sobriety, he revealed in an episode of his podcast, Armchair Expert, titled “Day 7” that he recently relapsed. Dax, who’s married to actress Kristen Bell, has struggled with an opioid, cocaine, and alcohol addiction. While he hasn’t used the latter too, he was taking Vicodin frequently the last several days.

“I have a tremendous amount of fear about doing this,” he began on the episode. “Maybe some people will feel a sense of betrayal because we preach honesty and I was being dishonest.”

He continued to explain that the first time he took Vicodin since being sober was eight years ago, after he was in a motorcycle accident. The latest time was after his recent motorcycle accident in August.

“In 2012, my father was dying. He got diagnosed with cancer in August and then he died December 31,” he added. “I was going back [and forth] nonstop to do all the treatments with him and take him to chemo… I also got into a motorcycle accident going to work on Parenthood. I immediately called my sponsor, and I said, ‘I’m in a ton of pain and I gotta work all day. And we have friends that have Vicodin.’”

He was encouraged by his sponsor to obtain a prescription from his doctor and have Kristen administer the pills. But, after he flew to visit his late and then sick father he didn’t have any pills, he ended up taking some of his father’s Percocet.

After confessing that he took his father’s pills to his wife, she reassured him that he didn’t completely mess up his sobriety. “She’s like, ‘You clearly need to call someone in AA, but I would say you’re f*cked up from this accident, you got high with your dad, keep it moving,” he said. “You don’t need to redefine it. you didn’t lose eight years, which was so comforting. So that was eight years ago.”

After his more recent accident this year, he began altering his recommended painkiller usage and began buying his own pills. At one point, he was taking “30 mil Oxys” every day. He also admitted that being high when celebrating his 16th year of sobriety this month was “the worst hour of his life.”

Eventually, he told his podcast co-host Monica Padman and Kristin about his recent relapse, handing over his remaining pills. “Kristen doesn’t deserve for the next six months for every f*cking interview she does to be, ‘Oh, Dax relapsed,'” he continued. “It doesn’t feel fair to anyone—it’s not. I’m sorry and embarrassed that I’ve put other people in this situation.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 24-hour treatment referral hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit Findtreatment.samhsa.gov for free and confidential help. In the case of a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

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