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Dax Shepard says he is newly sober after battling opioid addiction

The actor and podcaster said that he had felt immense guilt about hiding "this enormous secret."
Dax Shepard
Dax Shepard during a panel for ABC's "Bless This Mess" in 2019.Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP file

Dax Shepard, the comedic actor who has spoken candidly about his struggles with addiction, said on the latest episode of his popular interview podcast "Armchair Expert" that he is newly sober following a recent relapse.

Shepard, who recorded the podcast episode on Monday, said that in recent months he battled an addiction to the opioid painkiller Vicodin, which he began taking amid problems with his hand and shoulder. He added that, for the previous eight weeks, he had been "on them all day."

The actor, known for his roles on "Parenthood" and "Bless This Mess," said that he had felt immense guilt about hiding "this enormous secret." He expressed regret for "gaslighting" his wife, actress Kristen Bell, and podcast co-host, Monica Padman, before he revealed to them what was going on.

"I felt so terrible about the lying," Shepard told Padman during the 47-minute episode, which was released Friday morning. "I was just very scared and I felt very, very lonely."

The episode is titled "Day 7," in honor of Shepard's seventh day of sobriety. He told Padman that he was still "very proud that I haven't drank [alcohol] or done cocaine in 16 years," and that he broke down crying when he opened up about his relapse at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

Shepard said during that his relapse he did not "have a single desire or fantasy or ideation about drinking or doing cocaine."

He added that he felt "grateful" to have Bell and Padman in his life.

"Armchair Expert" has attracted a loyal following since it launched in February 2018. The show revolves around "the messiness of being human," and typically centers on Shepard and Padman interviewing actors, journalists, academics and activists.

Shepard, 45, has also used the show to speak openly about his recovery journey. He has discussed his difficulties with alcoholism, cocaine abuse and personal insecurities in frank terms, displaying a level of vulnerability unusual for a Hollywood actor.

In an Instagram post, Shepard described "Day 7" as "an episode I hoped I'd never have to record, but one I felt I owed to all the beautiful Armcheries who have been on this ride with me for the last couple years.

"This was Monday, say today is 11," Shepard added.