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Dax Shepard reveals valuable advice that encouraged him to come clean after relapse

The actor and podcast host wants to keep things real while continuing to help others overcome their own addictions.
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After 16 years of sobriety, Shepard relapsed at 45, following a motorcycle accident.Bauer-Griffin / GC Images
/ Source: TODAY

Dax Shepard's motorcycle accident last August changed a lot of things about his life — including knocking him out of 16 years of sobriety.

The actor, who's married to "The Good Place" star Kristen Bell, broke four ribs and shattered his shoulder in the accident. In addition to painkillers that were prescribed to him, Shepard ended up supplementing with other medicine, and quickly became addicted to opioids.

He came clean about all of it in an episode of his popular "Armchair Expert" podcast in September.

His "Armchair Expert" co-host, Monica Padman, figured he was on something while they were recording, and confronted him.

"I'm lying to other people and I know I have to quit," he confessed on the show. "But my tolerance is going up so quickly that I'm now in a situation where I'm taking, you know, eight 30s a day, and I know that's an amount that's going to result in a pretty bad withdrawal. And I start getting really scared, and I'm starting to feel really lonely. And I just have this enormous secret."

Shepard tells Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist that he had a "huge" amount of hesitation when it came to discussing his addiction after so many years of being sober. But he was motivated to open up because he had become personally invested in helping others with their own addictions.

"I get so much self-esteem out of being someone who has encouraged other people to try sobriety," he said. "I'm gonna be exposed as a fraud, that I didn't ever do this thing correctly, or I wouldn't be in this situation (of not being sober)."

Fortunately, a pal shared some words of wisdom.

"I have a good friend who said to me, you know, 'If what you like is helping people, there's almost nothing you can do that'd be more helpful than you telling everyone,'" he recalled.

The former "Parenthood" star said in his September podcast episode, "The only thing I would hope people would hear is that, at least in my case, the outcome wasn't anything like I feared like it would be.

"The secrets are so much more painful than whatever the fallout from owning my secrets was."