Dax Shepard was terrified to go public with the news that he had relapsed after 16 years of sobriety. On a recent episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the actor and podcaster shared what was going through his mind before he publicly addressed a recent backslide into opiates.
“I did not want to at all,” he said. “I had all kinds of bizarre fears, like I have sponsors on my show, is that something that could cost me money financially?”
Beyond the money, he worried that he would slide in his fans’ estimation. Shepard told DeGeneres that he knew he had sober listeners and was worried that they would think less of him if he was honest about his relapse.
“I get so much esteem out of being some whose vocally sober and I have people who write me on month one or on week two and I love that, that's my favorite thing about being in public,” he said. “So I was just terrified I would lose that, I really cherish that.”
Relapses are a normal and common aspect of trying to live a sober life. A friend made Shepard see that putting on a falsely heroic face did no good for other people who might be struggling. He shared their advice with Ellen.
“If your real goal is to help people, it's not very helpful that you're 16 years sober and married to Kristen Bell,” he said. “So, the fact that you just fell, that's the actual value.”
Shepard came clean with his audience on a recent episode of his podcast Armchair Expert. He admitted to abusing OxyContin, that he had been prescribed painkillers but spiraled from there.
"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],” he said.
Shepard’s wife Kristen Bell also spoke with Ellen earlier this year, sharing how Shepard came clean with her.
“And he was like, ‘I don't want to risk this family and I did,” she said. “So let's put new things in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.’”