Tags: dax shepard | drugs | sober | kristen bell

Dax Shepard Reveals Why He Went Public About His Drug Relapse

dax shepard sits onstage
Dax Shepard of "Top Gear America" speaks during the Discovery MotorTrend segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on Jan. 16, 2020, in Pasadena, California. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 29 April 2021 02:17 PM

Dax Shepard is revealing exactly why he chose to go public about his relapse after 16 years of sobriety. 

The "Parenthood" actor first broke the news last year on his podcast, "Armchair Expert," but on Tuesday said he did so reluctantly. At first, he did not want to speak openly about his relapse, but a friend helped to change his mind. 

"The tipping point that got me to be public about it was a really good friend of mine who happened to have the same sobriety date as myself, and we’re the exact same age. We’re very, very similar, and I told him, of course, immediately," Shepard said in an appearance this week on "In Fact With Chelsea Clinton."

Shepard recounted listing various reasons to his friend about why he did not want to open up about his relapse on his podcast but his friend suggested he may be holding back for the wrong reasons.

"Look, if you're getting self-esteem from the number, that's silly," Shepard recalled his friend saying. "If you're getting self-esteem because you think that it's helpful to people, that's great, but if your goal then is actually to help people, it's so much more helpful that you relapsed than it is you being 16 years sober and married to Kristen Bell. That's not incredibly relatable to some dude who's struggling. But lying to the people you love just last month, that's pretty relatable."

Shepard said his addiction began with alcohol and cocaine, but after a motorcycle accident, he started abusing medication prescribed to ease his physical pain. Oxycontin and Vicodin were his drugs of choice. He had previously cleaned up his act but slipped back into old habits. Speaking with Clinton, he admitted lying to those closest to him about using the pills to treat arthritis. Accepting that he had a problem took time because Shepard said he had built his identity around being sober for 16 years. 

"I loved being inspirational to people for sobriety," he said. "And I was holding onto that so much, I was deriving so much of my self-esteem from that, that I was really scared of not having that, and so I avoided losing that for a while, for a couple months, and then eventually I just … yeah, I couldn’t do it."

Shepard eventually came clean to his wife, and they agreed to tell their daughters Delta, 6, and Lincoln, 8. 

"And they knew, they knew, like when I relapsed, we explained, 'Well, Daddy was on these pills for his surgery and then Daddy was a bad boy and he started getting his own pills," he said. "And, yeah, we tell them the whole thing."

Bell has also spoken publicly about Shepard's relapse and last year told Ellen DeGeneres that they were picking up the pieces and learning to move on.

"If he has to take medication for any reason, I have to administer it," Bell said, according to Yahoo! Entertainment.

She explained that they needed to implement a plan that would prevent Shepard from slipping back into addiction.

"He was like: 'So we need a stronger plan. I was faltering. I have to do some emotional work to figure out why I wanted to use again.'"

Bell added that Shepard is now "doing really great."

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Dax Shepard is revealing exactly why he chose to go public about his relapse after 16 years of sobriety. The "Parenthood" actor first broke the news last year on his podcast, "Armchair Expert," but on Tuesday said he did so reluctantly...
dax shepard, drugs, sober, kristen bell
Thursday, 29 April 2021 02:17 PM
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