During the Sept. 25 episode of his Armchair Expert podcast, Dax Shepard told listeners he'd relapsed with painkillers after 16 years of sobriety, but thankfully, his wife has his back. Kristen Bell's quote about Dax Shepard's relapse is so supportive because — as she told Ellen DeGeneres during an Oct. 14 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show — her husband is "very, very worth it." When asked about Shepard, Bell said, "He is actually doing really great. Everybody is up against their own demons. Sometimes it's anxiety and depression. Sometimes it's substance abuse."
According to Bell, Shepard reached out to her for help when he needed it, which made all the difference. "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 explained. "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 ... I don't want to risk this family and I did. So let's put new things in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.'" Bell said she and Shepard plan on going back to therapy and she'll continue to "stand by" him.
During the Sept. 25 episode of his podcast, Shepard explained how the trouble began after he broke his hand in an ATV accident in May 2020. Three months later, he suffered multiple injuries while riding a motorcycle at a California racetrack. Both times Shepard was administered painkillers, and when the prescriptions ran out, he started to purchase pills.
According to Shepard, this isn't the first time he'd relapsed. The first relapse occurred in 2012, when he got into a motorcycle accident while his father was dying from cancer. Though he was prescribed painkillers following the injury, he "didn't desire more when the thing was over," as he told his podcast listeners. He suffered "three or four more" injuries after that, all of which required surgeries and painkillers, but again, he wasn't tempted to purchase more pills after he ran out.
However, following his most recent injuries in 2020, Shepard found he wanted to keep taking painkillers after he'd gone through the prescribed amount, and eventually, he couldn't keep his addiction a secret any longer. "...I start getting really scared, and I'm starting to feel really lonely. And I just have this enormous secret," he said.
After opening up to his wife, Shepard began attending AA meetings, and it seems he's on the road to recovery. I couldn't be prouder of these two for being so open about their journey and supporting each other through it all.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).