Dax Shepard Shares How He Told His Kids About His Relapse

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are open books when it comes to their two daughters. The couple are parents to daughters Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6, and they don’t shy away from some of the tougher topics in their lives. 

In a new appearance on the podcast In Fact With Chelsea Clinton, Shepard, 46, opened up about his relapse last fall and how he addressed the situation with his children. When host Clinton asked how the actor speaks about his substance abuse struggles with his kids, he replied, “Just like I’m talking to you.” 

“They know that Dad goes to an AA meeting every Tuesday and Thursday,” Shepard shared. 

The Bless This Mess star shared a sweet story of his older daughter Lincoln when she was 3, wanting to join him at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. 

“She said, ‘Can I go?’ And I said, ‘Well no, you’ve got to be an alcoholic.’ And she goes, ‘I’m going to be an alcoholic,'” Shepard said, laughing. “And I said, ‘You know you might become one, the odds are not in your favor, but you’re not there yet.”

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A post shared by kristen bell (@kristenanniebell)

He also noted how he addressed the topic of his relapse with his kids. 

“When I relapsed we explained, ‘Well Daddy was on these pills for a surgery and then Daddy was a bad boy. He started getting his own pills,'” Shepard said of his opioid struggles. “Yeah, we tell them the whole thing.”

While continuing his recovery journey Shepard got candid about fatherhood, saying, “The proudest I am of my children ever is when they admit something and say sorry. That to me is the single most impressive thing a little person can do, because it’s the bravest thing to own your shortcomings.”

Shepard did just that last fall when he opened up on his Armchair Expert podcast about his relapse following 16 years of sobriety. 

“The opiate thing was very misleading because I was still doing everything I was supposed to do,” he explained to Clinton of the relapse. “I was still interviewing people, it was going well, I was still playing with my kids, putting them to bed, waking them up, doing the dad stuff. And I just generally was cruising through life without any unmanageability other than the terrible aspect of opiates is your tolerance is going up daily.” 

Shepard added that as he tried to detox himself and was showing clear signs of it, his loved ones were becoming concerned. 

“I was making people who loved me feel crazy because they knew something was going on and I was lying,” he said. 

This past January, Shepard opened up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show about his decision to go public with his relapse. 

“I have a good friend that said, ‘You know 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 a ton of people. In fact, it probably makes their life worse. So the fact that you just fell, that’s the actual value. That’s the thing you can do that’s helpful,'” he said at the time. “So when it was framed that way to me, it got a lot easier.”

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