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Dax Shepard Revealed The Reason He Spoke Publicly About His Relapse Despite Being "Fearful" Of Losing Sponsorship Deals

"I had all kinds of bizarre fears. I have sponsors on my show — is that something that could cost me money financially?"

Posted on January 26, 2021, at 11:02 a.m. ET

Dax Shepard has opened up about his decision to publicly address his recent relapse after 16 years of sobriety.

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Back in September, Dax candidly revealed that after being sober since 2004, he had relapsed following an ATV accident that led to him taking opioids.

"After I ride sometimes on the track, I feel I'm entitled to take two Vicodin at the end of the day because I am in pain," he said during an episode of his podcast, Armchair Expert.

"For the last eight weeks ... I'm on them all day," he went on. "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]."

"I'm lying to other people, and I know I have to quit," he went on. "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."

"I know that's an amount that's going to result in a pretty bad withdrawal," Dax added. "And I start getting really scared, and I'm starting to feel really lonely. And I just have this enormous secret."

Dax admitted that he eventually told his wife, Kristen Bell, about the relapse before attending a meeting and setting new boundaries with her that left him feeling "hopeful and humble" about the future.

However, the actor did add that he was concerned about the effect "coming clean publicly" about the relapse would have on his wife of seven years.

"Kristen doesn't deserve for the next six months for every fucking interview she does to be, 'Oh, Dax relapsed,'" he said. "I'm sorry and I'm embarrassed I've put other people in this situation."

Well, Dax has now revealed that the decision to speak out publicly about his relapse was a challenging one to make, not least because he was concerned about the effect it might have on both his public profile and finances.

"I did not want to [speak out] at all," he said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I had all kinds of bizarre fears. I have sponsors on my show — is that something that could cost me money financially?"

"But the number one thing I was afraid to lose was that I get so much esteem out of being someone who's vocally sober, and I have people who write me saying, 'I'm on month one,' or 'I'm week two,' and I love that," he continued. "It's my favorite thing about being in public. I was terrified I would lose that."

Dax went on to explain that it wasn't until he got some pretty pointed advice from a friend that he realized how much value speaking out could hold for others in similar situations.

"I have a good friend that said, 'If your real goal is to help people, it's not very helpful that you're 16 years sober and married to Kristen Bell. That doesn't help people. In fact, that probably makes their life worse,'" he said.

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"So I just get that that's the actual value — that's the thing I can do that's helpful," he added. "And when it was framed that way to me, it got a lot easier."

Dax's comments come three months after Kristen revealed that she was "standing by" her husband and committed to moving on from the relapse together.

"The thing that I love most about Dax is that he was able to tell me and tell us and say, 'We need a different plan,'" she told Ellen in October. "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.'"

"He's addicted to evolving," Kristen went on. "He was like, '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.' We're going back to therapy. I love that he's addicted to growth. I will continue to stand by him because he's very, very worth it."

You can watch Dax's full interview here.

View this video on YouTube

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A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.