Dax Shepard has always been candid about his struggles with addiction and he doesn’t hold back when discussing the subject with his children.
The 46-year-old actor revealed in September 2020 that he had suffered a relapse after being sober for 16 years. During a recent interview with Chelsea Clinton on the “In Fact with Chelsea Clinton” podcast, Shepard discussed how he handles questions from his daughters — 8-year-old Lincoln and 6-year-old Delta — about his addiction.
Shepard said he attends AA meetings every Tuesday and Thursday, and, in answer to Lincoln’s question as to why he needed to go, Dax answered bluntly, “Because I’m an alcoholic, and if I don’t go there, then I’ll drink and then I’ll be a terrible dad.”
When she asked if she could go with him, the “Parenthood” star said no, explaining that only alcoholics could attend.
“And she goes, ‘I’m gonna be an alcoholic,'” he recalled while laughing. “I said, ‘You might become one. The odds are not in your favor, but you’re not there yet.'”
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Shepard doesn’t hide his relapse from the children either, telling them, “Daddy was on these pills for his surgery, and then Daddy was a bad boy and he started getting his own pills.'”
Dax said he and his wife, actress Kristen Bell, “tell them the whole thing.”
Experts say addiction is a family disease, because everyone is impacted.
“The family needs to be part of the solution,” said Debra Jay, an addiction specialist. “It is the biggest opportunity — family — they’re the most important group in that person’s life long term and their recovery.”
When the “Punk’d” alum first publicly opened up about relapsing in September on his podcast, and told his wife about relapsing with prescription pain pills following a motorcycle accident, Jay also pointed out that speaking that truth has a massive impact.
“You will run into almost nobody who doesn’t have one person in their life that’s addicted,” Jay said. “It’s a huge problem out there. So people like Dax — they have a big megaphone and they can make a big difference.”
While being honest about his addiction may make a big difference and create transparency between him and his fans, Shepard believes his honesty will set an example for his children.
“The proudest I am of my children ever is when they admit something and say sorry,” said Shepard in the podcast. “It’s the bravest thing to own your shortcomings.”
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