Dax Shepard opens up on podcast about substance abuse, recent relapse

Actor Dax Shepard spoke openly on Friday about his battle with substance abuse and his recent relapse on the latest episode of his podcast.

The “Bless This Mess” star, speaking on his “Armchair Expert” podcast, Shepard said he began taking opioids again after 16 years of sobriety, the Los Angeles Times reported.

At the start of the podcast episode, titled “Day 7," Shepard said he had “a tremendous amount of fear” about talking about his addictions.

“One of (my fears) is, people will maybe bombard me with things I did wrong or judgments of what I should or shouldn’t have done,” Shepard told his co-host, Monica Padman. "And maybe some people will feel a sense of betrayal, because we preach honesty, and I was being dishonest.

“A lot of people have been inspired to try sobriety based on how open we are about it. And I had a huge fear that those people would feel maybe misled. And another part of it is ego -- that, ‘I have 16 years. I have 16 years. I have 16 years.’ And that is something people might aspire to have.”

Earlier this year, after breaking his hand in an all-terrain vehicle accident and suffering injuries in a motorcycle, Shepard said he began to get “shadier and shadier” and began buying pain pills, People reported.

During his recent relapse, Shepard, 45, said he did not “have a single desire or fantasy or ideation about drinking, or doing cocaine,” Today reported.

“The only thing I would hope people would hear is that, at least in my case, the outcome wasn’t anything like I feared like it would be,” Shepard said. “The secrets are so much more painful than whatever the fallout from owning my secrets was.”

Despite his fears, Shepard said he decided to discuss his relapse publicly so that it might help others in the same situation, the Times reported.

“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 eight (oxycodone hydrochloride pills) a day, and I know that’s an amount that’s going to result in a pretty bad withdrawal,” Shepard said. “And I start getting really scared, and I’m starting to feel really lonely, and I just have this enormous secret.”

While Shepard said he was still “very proud” of being free of alcohol and cocaine addictions for the past 16 years, he conceded that he has “not been sober in the way I would like to be sober, where you don’t have secrets, and you’re not afraid to tell people about the gray area you’re going through.”

You can listen to “Day 7” and other “Armchair Expert” episodes here.

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