This past week, Dax Shepard, actor and husband of Kristen Bell shared openly and honestly on his podcast, the Armchair Expert about his recent relapse in drug use. At the time of his relapse Dax had over 16 years of sobriety. Dax shared on the podcast his concerns around publicly discussing his relapse for fear of personal and professional repercussions, but at the end of the day, he acknowledged that he needed to come clean on everything in order to move forward and continue on his sobriety journey. During the podcast he bravely announces that he is only 7 days sober, but that doesn’t negate the 16 years of hard work and commitment.
While some may harshly criticize Dax for his relapse, we at Landmark applaud Dax for being so honest about his struggles and the reality of how difficult recovery is. Many people don’t find sobriety after their first try. Of course, there are always outliers that make it work the first time or even the 10th time, but bottom line, recovery is HARD and there is no one size fits all solution.
For Dax, he thought that his only addiction issue was combining cocaine with beer, but come to find out years later, prescription opioids for a surgery he had would become the reason he would relapse. Everyone in active addiction thinks they can handle it, but addiction is a disease that needs clinical and medical attention.
One of the things we do differently here at Landmark is our brand new Recovery Coaching program. It helps our patients after they have completed the inpatient and outpatient programs and are living everyday lives with jobs and families. But as Dax says in his podcast, addiction never truly goes away, it is just waiting for you, doing pushups and getting ready for you to trip up. Our clinicians know this and during both inpatient and outpatient treatment, we give our patients the tools to actively fight their addictions day in and day out. Our recovery coaches are just another tool that patients can work with to help during those days when there is temptation or after that surgery that requires pain medication or to encourage them to go to that meeting.
Dax mentions in his podcast that his stumbling block during his relapse was his under estimation of his preclusivity to addiction in general. He was addicted previously to cocaine and beer, but he assumed that didn’t mean he would be addicted using prescribed opiates after a surgery. Those are the types of assumptions that are dangerous, leading to relapse, overdoses and even death. We are so grateful that Dax was able to get help early in his relapse and that he made the re-commitment to living a life of sobriety again.
At Landmark, we believe in second, third, fourth, fifth, however many chances our patients need. Recovery is an everyday decision and we understand the intricacies and difficulties because many of our staff are in recovery or have been touched by addiction. Falling down can be a part of the process, but as Dax has lead the way so well on, it’s about what you do when you fall down, the people you surround yourself with, the boundaries you’ve set to get on track, the support systems like a recovery coach that you’ve set up for yourself and most importantly it’s about fighting through the fear and the unknown and getting back up again to live another day sober.