Dax Shepard Shares He Relapsed After 16 Years: Revisit His Honest Quotes About Sobriety and Addiction

During an episode of Armchair Expert, Dax Shepard shared he recently relapsed after 16 years of sobriety. Scroll on to read his candid conversations over the years on addiction.

By Elyse Dupre Sep 25, 2020 9:48 PMTags
Watch: Dax Shepard Opens Up About His Relapse

Dax Shepard is opening up about his sobriety.

In the Sept. 25 episode of his podcast Armchair Expert, the 45-year-old actor, who had been sober for 16 years, revealed he recently relapsed and had been taking opioids.

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.

"For the last eight weeks maybe, I don't really know…I'm on them all day," Shepard, who had been taking Vicodin for the pain, revealed. "And I'm allowed to be on them at some dosage because I have a prescription and then I'm also augmenting that. And then all the prescriptions run out and I'm now just taking 30 mil Oxys that I've bought whenever I decide I can do [it]."

Because Shepard, wed to Kristen Bell, was still able to fulfill his day-to-day responsibilities, he didn't think there was an issue. But after his podcast co-host Monica Padman confronted him, he started lying to her. 

"And I hate it," he said. "And I'm lying to other people. And I know I have to quit. But my tolerance is going up so quickly that I'm now in a situation where I'm taking, you know, eight 30s a day, and I know that's an amount that's going to result in a pretty bad withdrawal. And I start getting really scared, and I'm starting to feel really lonely. And I just have this enormous secret." 

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard: Romance Rewind

Then, less than two weeks ago, he was sitting in the car with Padman and he decided to tell the truth not only to her, but to his wife, as well. 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."

In post shared after the podcast's release, he said he was now on day 11 of his sobriety journey.

"An episode I hoped I'd never have to record, but one I felt I owed to all the beautiful Armcheries who have been on this ride with me for the last couple years," Shepard wrote after the episode aired. "This was Monday, say today is 11."

This wasn't the first time he'd been open about his journey. Scroll on to see some of his powerful comments about sobriety and addiction.

Rock Bottom

"There's a couple of common fallacies about sobriety," Shepard said during an episode of Off Camera With Sam Jones in 2019. "One being that people hit a bottom and then that's that. Most addicts have many bottoms. I mean, I had many events that were even worse than the one that ended up being my last event."

Shepard then spoke about a few of these moments, including one in which he went on vacation, was "hammered and doing drugs the whole time" and then went to the airport bar.

"I had this moment where I kind of take stock of my life," he said. "I am about to star in this movie, Zathura; they're paying me a ton of money; people recognize me at the airport. I'm doing everything I had dreamt of doing for 30 years. It all came true, and I'm the least happy I've ever been in my life. I'm closest to not wanting to be alive as I've ever been, and I had every single thing on paper that I'd ever wanted. I feel grateful for this because I was able to say, 'Something much more profound is broken.'"

Going Down the Rabbit Hole

"I just loved to get f---ed-up—drinking, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, diet pills, pain pills, everything," he told Playboy in 2012. "Mostly my love was Jack Daniel's and cocaine. I lived for going down the rabbit hole of meeting weird people. Of course, come Monday I would be tallying up all the different situations, and each one was progressively more dangerous. I got lucky in that I didn't go to jail."

Family Love

"I wouldn't have a family without sobriety first and foremost," he said during an episode of People's Party With Talib Kweli. "Bell would've never signed up for the old version of me."

Consistent Journaling

During a 2019 Goop interview with Gwyneth Paltrow, Shepard said he wrote a page in his journal every single day for the first 12 years of his sobriety and that he was "crazy superstitious about it."

"I had this thought that if I can't commit 20 minutes to remembering I'm an addict each morning, I'm going to end up blowing nine hours a day as an addict," he admitted. "I have to be able to say, minimally, this is your commitment. You've got to acknowledge you're an addict every day, first thing, right when you wake up, you write a page. It doesn't even have to be about being an addict. It's just this physical activity there to remind myself, ‘I have a thing that I'll never not have.'"

Sober Birthdays

During a 2019 interview with People, Shepard said Bell "spoils the hell out" of him on his sober birthdays, which typically fall in early September.

"The nicest presents she's gotten me are always on my sober birthday," he told the magazine. "In fact, my real birthday … still haven't gotten a present!" 

As the Frozen star put it, "I'm very happy he was born so I celebrate his birthday, but I'm extraordinarily [happy] that he has stayed sober because that's what allows me to have him in my life as a husband and as a father."

Thoughts on AA

"As a rule of thumb, like, I believe in gravity," he said during a 2019 Armchair Expert podcast interview with Pete Holmes. "I don't believe people think their ways into acting different. I think they act their ways into thinking different. So, a program for quitting alcohol that doesn't involve some action, I have a low expectation for. Now, it does work for people and I would never tell someone it's not working for them. But just in general, the thing I like about AA is it's not abstract: Here's what you do; write this list; call this person; be available to this guy; take that person to a meeting. You can't wake up one morning because you're so demoralized from the night before and decide, 'I'm going to permanently remember that I felt this demoralized in six years and this will be sustainable.' For me, at least, I will forget six years later what it felt like. But if I have actions that are a part of my regular muscle memory and routine, those things will do the lifting for me."