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Dax Shepard Reveals Relapse After 16 Years of Sobriety

Dax Shepard Reveals Relapse After 16 Years of Sobriety

Dax Shepard 2020 Winter TCA Tour - Day 10

Actor Dax Shepard is coming clean about his drug relapse following a series of injuries.

Before sharing his story on his Armchair Expert podcast, Shepard wrote on Instagram that it was “an episode I hoped I’d never have to record.”

While he detailed several of the bumps in the road he experienced over the last eight years, he also spoke about how his life changed following his latest round of injuries, which started six months ago.

In the candid chat, released on Friday (September 25, 2020), Dax reveals he had previously been closely monitored by his wife, actress Kristen Bell, and close friend and podcast co-host/producer Monica Padman, when given opioids following racing accidents, but after his most recent crash, he began hoarding them so he could take more than the prescribed dose at certain times to get high.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Premiere of Universal Pictures' "Couples Retreat" - After Party
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard pose at the afterparty for the premiere of Universal Pictures’ “Couples Retreat” at the Hammer Museum on October 5, 2009 in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He soon began lying “pretty regularly” to his close friends, family, and even fellow Alcoholics Anonymous members about his drug use, which he kept under wraps even as they marked his 16th year clean of booze and illegal substances with a cake at the start of September, and it was only when he resorted to secretly buying more pills that he realized his addiction issues were really escalating.

“For the last eight weeks, maybe…, I’m on them all day,” Dax explains. “I’m allowed to be on them at some dosage, because I have a prescription…, and then all the prescriptions run out… and I’m now just taking (drugs) that I’ve bought…”

Dax Shepard, Kari Feinstein and Mike McGuiness Host Celebrity Poker Tournament to Honor Clifton Collins Jr's Emmy Nomination
Dax Shepard during, Kari Feinstein and Mike McGuiness Host Celebrity Poker Tournament to Honor Clifton Collins Jr.’s Emmy Nomination at Private Residence in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by J.Sciulli/WireImage for Kari Feinstein PR)

However, it took a confrontation with Monica for him to face up to his personal troubles because in his “addicty brain,” he didn’t think his “very manageable” use of painkillers was causing him any loss of control over his everyday life and responsibilities.

He tried to wean himself off the opioids, but when that didn’t work, the 45 year old reached out to Kristen and Monica and begged them for help, fearing his sobriety setback could eventually lead to his untimely demise – just like his hero, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died from a drug overdose in 2014.

“Philip Seymour Hoffman, who I just adored and idolized, he had 20-something years (of sobriety) and I think he had a very similar kind of experience that ended in death,” Dax recalls, “and so I’m not smarter than Philip Seymour Hoffman, I’m not more special, I’m not anything more than him.”

Dax Shepard 2019 Winter TCA Tour - Day 8
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 05: Dax Shepard of the television show ‘Bless This Mess’ speaks during the ABC segment of the 2019 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 05, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

He then started attending AA meetings and began experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

“I’m sweating bullets; I’m jerky; my back kills. It’s terrible,” he recalled. “I’ve never detoxed from opiates, and I have so much compassion for these junkies who have, like, f–king cycled through this 20-30 times.”

Now the “embarrassed” actor is starting over on his sobriety journey – and letting fans into his dark secret as the podcast is all about “honesty and vulnerability.”

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