Dax Shepard is opening up about his recent struggle with addiction. In Friday’s very personal episode of his podcast Armchair Expert, the actor shared with fans that he relapsed with pills, like Vicodin and Oxytocin, after 16 years of sobriety.
“So, today I have seven days,” Shepard revealed during the episode, appropriately titled “Day 7,” which was taped on Sept. 21.
Shepard, who shares two kids with wife Kristen Bell, began by saying he has a “tremendous amount of fear” about coming clean.
“I was being dishonest,” Shepard shared. At one point, he admitted to celebrating his 16 year sobriety birthday “high,” calling it “the worst thing in the world.”
Shepard explained how he has been taking pills for about six months stemming from various injuries. His most recent motorcycle accident came in August, in which he broke four ribs requiring surgery.
“It would be unfair to say this all started with my recent surgeries, which is really hard to say,” Shepard stated. The Bless This Mess star first got sober in 2004 after battling an alcohol and cocaine addiction; however, he revealed for the first time that he started being “shady” with pills eight years ago.
In 2012, Shepard got into a motorcycle accident on the way to the set of Parenthood and he immediately called his sponsor. They agreed he could take “a couple Vicodin to get through the day of work” as a friend had a prescription, but then he had to go to the doctor. The doctor then gave him a prescription of the pain killer.
“So, I had a prescription for Vicodin that Kristen was administering and no problem yet,” Shepard recalled. Things escalated when he flew to visit his father who was dying.
“We had so little in common and so much f* friction,” Shepard explained. He ended up taking Percocet with his ailing dad, explaining that what they did have in common “was we were both f* addicts and we had never used anything together. And we sat there stoned and looked at the lake.”
Shepard confessed to Bell what he had done. The Frozen star, who was pregnant with their first child at the time, urged him to call someone from Alcoholics Anonymous. “‘I would say you’re f* up from this accident, you got high with your dad, keep it moving,’” Shepard recalled Bell saying. He found her response “so comforting.”
“I’ve now had this experience where I did that, I felt bad, but there wasn’t any fallout from it,” he explained. “Over the last eight years I don’t think there was another thing… until I got hurt again.”
About six months ago, Shepard injured his hand and was once again prescribed pain pills. He noted how it felt like he had a different relationship with pills than alcohol or cocaine because he never felt powerless.
“I feel shady, but I don’t feel like this is a problem. I don’t desire more when the thing is over,” he said of his mental state at the time.
Shepard, who frequently rides motorcycles recreationally at race tracks, said he started self medicating.
“I feel I’m entitled to take two Vicodin at the end of the day because I am in pain,” he explained. “I’m getting shadier and shadier and I’ve not ever yet bought them — and then I do.”
Shepard said for the last eight weeks or so he’s been on pills “all day.” When his prescriptions ran out he started “taking 30 mil [Oxycotin] that I’ve bought whenever I decide.”