Ben Affleck, who has struggled with substance abuse in the past, has reportedly fallen off the wagon again. The actor was spotted on the way to a rehab program. A visibly shaken Jennifer Garner, according to an E! News source, drove him to the facility after staging an intervention.
The well-known actor and filmmaker has said that his family has a history of struggling with substance abuse, making him more prone to the disease himself. Ben first went to rehab in 2001 and went through another stint of inpatient addiction treatment just last year.
The relapse might have something to do with a recent breakup with Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus just a couple weeks ago. Ben has since been spotted on a few dates with Playboy model Shauna Sexton, but people have noted that he hasn’t looked well.
The good news is that Ben appeared to enter rehab willingly and reportedly knew he needed help before the intervention was staged.
A Lifetime of Alcoholism
The first signs that Ben Affleck struggled with alcoholism came in 1998, when he said in an interview that he had quit drinking because it was “dangerous for him.”
“I started regretting some things I did when I was drunk,” he said. This was shortly after the release of Good Will Hunting.
Then, in 2001, Ben entered a 30-day rehabilitation program for alcohol addiction.
“Ben is a self-aware and smart man who had decided that a fuller life awaits him without alcohol,” said then-spokesman David Pollick. “He has chosen to seek out professional assistance and is committed to traveling a healthier road with the support of his family, friends and fans.”
The treatment seemed to go well. He later stated that he didn’t think at the time that he was truly addicted to alcohol, but knowing his family history, he wanted to get ahead of the disease.
“I wanted to break the cycle of going out drinking, feeling hung over and tired in the morning, not remembering conversations you had, being vaguely aware you were obnoxious,” he told Leslie Bennetts of Vanity Fair.
For many years, there was no further news of his trouble with drinking. Then, in early 2017, he entered rehab once again. He again framed it as a “proactive approach.”
This time, it was only a little over a year before he started drinking again. Reports emerged in July about Ben looking “disheveled,” spotted with a blotchy face on his dates with Shauna Sexton.
It was also not long ago that Ben’s one-year relationship with Lindsay Shookus ended. Sources told E! News that the constant long distance was too difficult, and neither wanted to move away from their families. Lindsay reportedly planned to move to his side of the country, but it didn’t happen.
It’s unclear whether this breakup had anything to do with Ben’s drinking, but a relationship ending can certainly be a trigger. The important thing is that the actor did indeed fall off the wagon, and it was soon clear that he needed help.
Taking Control of His Problem
Ben was spotted being driven by an unhappy Jennifer Garner on August 22, and it was soon confirmed that the destination was a rehab center. Despite their breakup and long-pending divorce, Jennifer has stood by Ben during this difficult period.
Jennifer reportedly staged an intervention this time after she saw a photo of her ex receiving a delivery. The box appeared to be full of beer and liquor — not something you want to see in the hands of an alcoholic.
Thankfully, Ben was more than willing to reenter rehab. Sources have said that the actor knew he was in need of help before the intervention and accepted the offer to be taken to an inpatient facility.
“He told Jen and was not resistant,” the source reported. “He asked her to take him and she wanted to be there for him.”
In a past post-rehab statement, Ben seemed to be aware that it wouldn’t be his last struggle with alcoholism.
“I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction,” he said after his 2017 treatment. “Something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront.”
Addiction Doesn't End
Addiction is classified as a chronic brain disease — something that can’t be cured and must be treated and monitored over a lifetime. Ben’s approach to his alcoholism is realistic. Almost every person suffering from addiction will relapse at least once over the course of their lives.
If anything, Ben is setting a good example for his kids.
“I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step,” he said in March 2017.
Good luck, Ben! Get well soon!