During the October 14 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres ShowKristen Bell shared how things have changed since her husband Dax Shepard spoke publicly about his relapse after 16 years of sobriety from opioid use.
“He’s doing really great,” Bell said afterwards. “I mean, look, everyone is dealing with their own demons, sometimes it’s anxiety and depression, sometimes it’s substance abuse.”
Bell said although the couple had a plan to hand out the pain medication Shepard sometimes needs due to multiple injuries, the plan was not enough. “If for any reason he has to take medication, I have to give it,” Bell said. But after relapsing, she said to Shepard, “We need a stronger plan. I was stalled and have to do some kind of emotional work trying to figure out why I wanted to use it again. “
One of the main reasons Bell loves her husband is his commitment to growth and development. She said, “He was like, ̵
How People said Shepard first publicly discussed his fallback to the September 25th edition of his podcast, Armchair expert, in an episode called “Day 7”. In 2012, after eight years sober, Shepard was involved in a motorcycle accident which caused him considerable pain. He told his sobriety sponsor, who advised him to take opioid pain relievers, but that he would need a doctor’s guidance and prescription, and that Bell would have to be responsible for giving him his dosage.
That worked well back then, Shepard said, but he ended up giving his father prescribed cancer pain relievers and it got tougher. “So I’ll give him some Percocet and then I’ll go, I have a prescription for it and I had a motorcycle accident and I’m going to have some,” Shepard said on his podcast. He took about twice as much as his prescription warranted, he said.
He explained the situation to Bell, who was pregnant with their first daughter Lincoln at the time. “She says, ‘You clearly have to call someone in AA, but I would say you got rid of this accident, you got up with your father, keep it up. You don’t have to redefine it. You haven’t lost eight years, which was very reassuring, ”he said.
But Shepard was injured again. In early 2020, he broke his hand in an ATV accident and got into another motorcycle accident. He had to undergo extensive shoulder surgery, Bell said. His persistent hand injuries were also significant. “He lost an ankle in the first accident and then it started sticking out,” explained Bell. “Then he lost another one and it came down a bit, so … I mean, he has the right amount of ankles, they’re just not in the right places.”
After these recent accidents, Shepard started buying pain medication and lying to loved ones, he said on his podcast. He knew the lie was a sign that he needed help to sober up.
The couple were open to consultation together, and Bell told DeGeneres that they will be returning to therapy. “I will continue to stand by him,” said Bell. “Because he’s very, very worth it.”