Kristen Bell On How Her Husband's Addiction Made Her Charitable

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Kristen Bell is a major mental health advocate. She routinely gets real about depression and other mental illness. So it’s not shocking that she’s more than willing to help others when she sees them in need.

Bell does a lot of work with PATH, People Assisting The Homeless, and recently gave $10,000 to Sun Cedar, an organization that gives jobs to felons, addicts, and others struggling to reintegrate to society.

So why the charity? Bell says that she attributes a large part of her generosity to seeing how husband Dax Shepard dealt with his addiction issues.

"I have a particular affinity towards helping people who feel outcast whether they've made mistakes, like having past felony convictions or recovering addicts,” Bell tells E! News. “My husband is in recovery and is almost 13 years sober. And seeing the world through his eyes has really opened mine to knowing that it is a disease and nobody is choosing to drink more than others, they are doing it because of a variety of reasons and they deserve the attention of a mental health professional, and not the county jail or however else we're choosing to pretend we're fixing the problem."

If you don’t believe that Shepard, the fun-seeming actor that’s starred in everything from Idiocracy to Parenthood, had a substance problem here’s how he described his party days to Playboy.

“I just loved to get fucked-up — drinking, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, diet pills, pain pills, everything,” he told the magazine. “Mostly my love was Jack Daniel’s and cocaine. I was famous for going out on Thursday night to have a couple of beers, and that just led all the way to Saturday night. I would meet people here and there, and then I’d be in a hotel room with four strangers. Oh, they’re tapping out? Well, someone new showed up. Well, what’s your name? Yeah, I’d love to go dancing. I lived for going down the rabbit hole of meeting weird people. Of course, come Monday I would be tallying up all the different situations, and each one was progressively more dangerous. I got lucky in that I didn’t go to jail.”

Sounds, you know, scary. He later in the interview describes crashing a car on a mission to find cocaine, then going to find the cocaine anyways. No wonder his wife is so willing to help addicts: She’s heard firsthand how much control over their lives addicts surrender to the disease.

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