Dax Shepard opens up about struggle with drug addiction, sobriety

The actor and podcast host opened up during his show and revealed he had a recent relapse after 16 years of sobriety and discussed his struggle with painkillers.
5:30 | 09/28/20

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Transcript for Dax Shepard opens up about struggle with drug addiction, sobriety
Back now with actor Dax Shepard revealing a relapse after marking 16 years of sobriety. He disclosed his struggle with pain killers during his podcast. T.J. Holmes has more on this deeply personal revelation. Good morning, robin. Dax Shepard had recently what his wife called a sobriety birthday. Celebrating 16 years of being sober. He was high, he says, at that birthday celebration. He has been open over the years about sobriety, about addiction. Now he's being open about a relapse that not even those closest to him knew about. Dax Shepard, candid, opening up to reveal his recent relapse in his battle with addiction. I've known intellectually that things are going to get worse, that each encounter with it has gotten more shady and more dangerous. Reporter: In a deeply personal conversation on his podcast, arm chair expert, the parenthood and bless this mess actor -- I know how you feel. Reporter: -- Tells his co-host he had been abusing pain killers. He said he convinced himself he had everything under control. For the last eight weeks I'm on them all day. In my addicty brain I'm like I'm doing the dishes and being a dad and it's feeling manageable. Then I start lying to you regularly. Reporter: Shepard with the support of his wife has been open about husband struggles. I'm gaslighting you. I know I am. I'm making you feel crazy and Kristen feel crazy. Then I tell you everything and give you the remaining stuff I have and I say please help me because I'm not doing this well. Reporter: He said he first relapsed abusing pain killers eight years ago, while he was dealing with his late father's cancer diagnosis. I had not done a single shady nothing gray. Reporter: He says he got clean and didn't have another incident until this year. He was recently high earlier this month as he was celebrating 16 years sober. Bell sharing this post reading thank you for dedicating your life to the hard and wonderful work of sobriety so we can share it with you. Shepard called his celebration the worst hour of his life. I was high at the meeting having people tell me that they admire my sobriety. I said it was the worst thing in the world. I'm really at that point thinking like this is my life on the line. Reporter: Speaking out now he says hoping he can help others with his experience. The only thing I would hope people would hear is that at least in my case, the outcome wasn't anything like I feared it would be and the secrets are so much more panful than the fall out from owning my secrets. Reporter: A lot of people will hear this message. He has a wildly popular podcast listened Toby millions. Forbes named him the top five earners who are podcasters. He's restarting his sobriety. Today it's 14 days sober. So raw and so real. We bring in Dr. Jen Ashton with what we need to know about addiction, relapse and recovery. Jen, I can't get over how transparent Dax was. That's going to be so helpful to so many. If someone is suffering from addiction like Dax, what do doctors need to take into consideration when treating them? Well, robin, that's a really important question. I think it really needs to become like asking a patient if they have any allergies to foods or medications. It's important to remember that someone who is living with addiction and is in sobriety, the roots of the addiction are still there. So patients who are sober still have accidents, still have elective surgery and they need pain medication, but in a lot of cases there can be safer options. Absolutely doctors need to ask about it. What role also does medication play when dealing with addiction, treating addiction? Well, I think it's important to remember that it's not one size fits all. This requires an aggressive therapeutic and management approach that is life long, but there are a lot of options. Number one, medication should be considered a first line I spoke to a top addiction therapist and he said this is grossly under utilized. Medications that are fda approved for addiction can help focus the person and prevent cravings that are really bio chemical initially in nature. Then it should be combined with behavioral therapy and counseling. It's a life-long approach. Jen, thank you so very much. When he was talking about how he admitted at his anniversary for

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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