The Ranch star Dax Shepard revealed he recently relapsed during his sobriety journey. In Friday's episode of his Armchair Expert podcast, the actor admitted his use of opioids did not begin after his motorcycle accident last month but dates back to his father's death in 2012. Shepard spoke about his pill addiction, and the important role wife Kristen Bell has played in helping him through his struggles.
"Eight years into sobriety, I had not done a single shady thing," Shepard said Friday. "I hadn't done anything gray." The relapse happened around the time his father Dave died in December 2012. He was traveling back and forth between the hospital where his father was being treated for cancer and the Parenthood set. During his time, Shepard was in a motorcycle accident. He called his sponsor, who told him he could take Vicodin to "get through the day of work," but he had to get a prescription from a doctor and Bell would have to give him the medication, reports E! News.
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Shepard agreed, but when he had to go visit his father again, Bell could not be with him. So, he traveled without the medication. When visiting his father, Shepard gave him Percocet. Shepard also took double what his other prescription was. "You know, we had so little in common and so much f— friction," Shepard explained. "But the no. 1 thing we had in common was we were both f— 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."
Bell surprised Shepard at the hospital, where he admitted that he relapsed. The Veronica Mars star told him to call someone at Alcoholics Anonymous since she understood how his motorcycle accident and stress from his father's situation weighed heavily on him. "That was eight years ago," Shepard said. "I've now had this experience where I did that, I felt bad, but there wasn't any fallout from it. It was like, I felt bad, I said I felt bad, and then I did just move on and it was fine."
Shepard said he got hurt again and took more pills. These made it impossible for him to sleep, so he decided to stop taking them on his own. This cycle "happens maybe three or for more times," Shepard said. "I feel shady, but I don't feel like this is a problem. I didn't desire more when the thing was over."
Since Shepard is an avid motorcyclist, he has suffered several injuries in the past and has had seven surgeries. After riding on a track, he feels "entitled" to take two Vicodin at the end of the day.
At first, Shepard thought this was ok, but about six months ago, he began feeling "shadier and shadier" as he continued using Vicodin. For the past eight weeks, he was using the medication "all day" and he kept his addition an "enormous secret" from Bell and his podcast co-host, Monica Padman. "I felt so terrible about the lying," he said, notes NBC News. "I was just very scared and I felt very, very lonely."
The podcast episode is titled "Day 7" in honor of the podcast being recorded on Shepard's seventh day of sobriety. Shepard said he was still "very proud that I haven't drank [alcohol] or done cocaine in 16 years." The actor said he never had "a single desire or fantasy or ideation about drinking or doing cocaine" during his relapse.