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Dax Shepard Has Been Extremely Open About His Struggle With Addiction

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In a time when we all try to reveal only the best parts of our lives to the rest of the world, there’s something very refreshing about people who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and share some of their struggles. That goes double for celebrities, who already spend so much of their life in the public eye and constantly have to deal with people expecting even more from them. 

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Dax Shepard and his wife Kristen Bell seem to have found a great balance between sharing real life and maintaining some level of privacy for their family, and we are seriously impressed. Recently, Dax has opened up more than ever about his struggles with addiction.

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Source: Instagram
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What was Dax Shepard addicted to?

Dax has said that he first developed a substance abuse problem when he was 18 years old (he is now 45 years old). He struggled for many years to overcome his addiction to cocaine and alcohol before finally achieving sobriety in 2004. In Sept. 2020, he and his family celebrated his 16-year “Sobriety Birthday.” However, that same month, he revealed that while he hadn’t had alcohol or cocaine for 16 years, his struggle with addiction was not a thing of the past.


In the Sept. 25, 2020 episode of his podcast Armchair Expert (entitled “Day 7”), Dax revealed that he had relapsed and started using painkillers following his motorcycle accident that had occurred in August. In fact, Dax said that this recent relapse wasn’t the first time during his 16 years of sobriety from alcohol and cocaine that he had abused painkillers.

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In 2012, eight years into his sobriety, Dax got into a motorcycle accident and quickly realized that the physical pain, coupled with the fact he was struggling with his late father’s recent cancer diagnosis, put him at risk for relapsing. 

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In 2012, eight years into his sobriety, Dax got into a motorcycle accident and quickly realized that the physical pain, coupled with the fact he was struggling with his late father’s recent cancer diagnosis, put him at risk for relapsing. 

“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.’” Dax said on the podcast. “And [my sponsor] said, ‘OK, 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 dole out the prescription.’” 

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Dax says this plan worked initially, but he soon found himself in a difficult situation when he went to visit his father and took on the responsibility of making sure he took his prescribed painkillers. “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.’”

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In 2020, Dax was involved in an ATV accident and a motorcycle accident, both of which resulted in serious injuries and painkiller prescriptions. While the plan had been for Kristen to dole out his medication, Dax said he soon began purchasing his own pills and lying to people around him about how often he was taking them. That’s when he realized he had relapsed, and needed to quit and get help.

Recently, Kristen spoke to Ellen Degeneres about the progress her husband has made since his relapse. "The thing I love most about Dax is that he was able to tell me and tell us and say, 'We need a different plan,’” she said. “We have a plan: if he has to take medication for any reason, I have to administer it. But he was like, 'We need a stronger plan.’”

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Kristen says that part of that plan involves the two of them going “back to therapy” and continuing to work through everything together. “I will continue to stand by him because he's very, very worth it," she said.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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