He had been sober for 16 years.

By Christopher Luu
Sep 25, 2020 @ 6:58 pm
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During the September 25 episode of Armchair ExpertDax Shepard revealed that he'd relapsed and had been taking opioids. Shepard has been open about his sobriety in the past and is candid about his individual journey and he told his co-host Monica Padman that he'd been lying to her, lying to his family, and that he can trace the issue back to his father passing away.

Back in 2012, Shepard often visited his father, who was in the hospital. Shepard was also involved in a motorcycle accident, which gave him access to pain medication.

"Eight years into sobriety, I had not done a single shady thing," he said. "I hadn't done anything gray."

Shepard explained that he worked out a system with his sponsor and his wife so that he could be responsible with the medication, which is how he learned what to do and what others expected of him regarding his medication.

Amy Sussman / Staff

"I immediately called my sponsor, and I said, 'I'm in a ton of pain and I gotta work all day. And we have friends that have Vicodin,'" Shepard said. "He said, 'OK, you can take a couple Vicodin to get through the day of work, but you have to go to the doctor, and you have to get a prescription, and then you have to have Kristen [Bell] dole out the prescription.'" 

Shepard continued, saying that he had a strained relationship with his father and that one of the few things that they had in common was addiction. 

"You know, we had so little in common and so much fucking friction," Shepard said of his father. "But the no. 1 thing we had in common was we were both fucking addicts and we had never used anything together. And we sat there stoned and looked at the lake. And in that moment, I felt elation and I was just happy."

As time went on, he said, he began to be less careful about his medication. Instead of just taking them when he felt pain, he started to take his pain killers just because — and he was hiding it from his family and coworkers.

"And I've not ever yet bought them," he continued. "And then I do [...] For the last eight weeks maybe, I don't know [...] I'm on them all day. 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]."

It got worse, he said.

"And I'm lying to other people and I know I have to quit," he confessed. "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." 

When the fear of things getting worse and worse became unbearable, Shepard said that he got everyone together and confessed. After that, he went to meetings and began withdrawing.

"My fear was that if I have one day, I'm going to drink and I'm going to do coke," he said. "I haven't drank a beer in 16 years and I haven't snorted a line in 16 years. And if I have one day, then I might as well fucking have what I really want and then start over. And my fear of that is if I do that, it may take me three years to get that back in the cage and I may die."

He said that on September 16, when his wife had celebrated him with a touching Instagram tribute to celebrate 16 years of sobriety, he had been lying and he had been high at a meeting he attended that day, saying, "It was the worst hour of my life."

On the episode, which was recorded on September 21, Shepard shared that he was seven days sober, saying, "Today, I have seven days."