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Dax Shepard Opens Up About Relapse

After 16 years of sobriety, Dax Shepard relapsed. The Parenthood actor said on his Armchair Expert podcast: “So eight years into sobriety, I have not done a single shady thing. There was nothing gray.”

But then his dad got sick, and he got into a motorcycle accident. He said: “I immediately called my sponsor and I said, ‘I’m in a ton of pain and I got to work all day, and we have friends that have Vicodin.’ And he said, ‘Okay, you can take a couple Vicodin to get through the day at work but you have to go to the doctor, and you have to get a prescription and you have to have Kristen [Bell] dole out the prescription.’”

At first it was fine, but then he became responsible for making sure his dad got his meds. And he brought his own stash as his wife Bell couldn’t join him. 

“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 recounted, noting that he “probably took twice of what my other prescription was.”

When he saw Bell the next day, he was honest about what happened, and she told him to call AA. 

“She’s like, ‘You clearly need to call someone in AA, but I would say you’re f— up from this accident, you got high with your dad, keep it moving. You don’t need to redefine it. you didn’t lose eight years, which was so comforting,” he said.

“So that was eight years ago,” he explained. “And now I have this experience where I did that, I felt bad, but there wasn’t really any fallout from it.”

“Then I get hurt again,” Shepard continued, noting that while he was never self-administering his prescribed medication, he began altering when he would take the the pills. “Maybe I don’t want to take them at night because I can’t sleep when I take them, so when I get my two at night I don’t actually eat them and I keep them for tomorrow morning so I can make it the dose I want to be.”

This year, after breaking his hand in an ATV accident and getting hammered in a motorcycle accident, he said he began getting "shadier and shadier," purchasing his own pills.

The “worst moment of his life,” he said, was celebrating his 16th year of sobriety this year while high. 

Shepard shared that while he’s still “very proud” of his 16 years of sobriety from alcohol and cocaine, he has “not been sober in the way I would like to be sober, where you don’t have secrets and you’re not afraid to tell people about the grey area you’re going through.”

He apologized for going public with it. “Kristen doesn’t deserve for the next six months for every f— 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."