Ben Affleck’s name splashed across headlines worldwide yesterday as he made a candid Facebook post to confirm that he recently completed treatment for alcoholism.
Affleck, who has struggled with addiction for many years, first attended a rehab program in 2001. Nearly sixteen years and many career and personal successes and lows later, and he has publicly disclosed the demons he continues to fight, referring to his addiction as, “something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront.”
Now 44 years old, Affleck is a father of three. In regard to his children, he stated that he wished to show them that, “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.”
In a 2012 Barbara Walters interview, Affleck revealed that his father had battled alcoholism throughout his life. His father ultimately achieved sobriety, though Affleck retained strong memories of his father’s addiction, saying that he remembered him drinking “all day long.”
Affleck’s brother Casey has also shared his personal struggles with alcoholism. In a 2016 podcast, he reflected upon his 3-year sobriety mark, and shared more about the Affleck family’s ties to the disease.
“My father was a disaster of a drinker, my grandmother was an alcoholic, my brother spent some time in rehab – it’s in our genes,” he said.
Ben Affleck attended this year’s Academy Awards with a sober coach, according to reports. He entered treatment shortly thereafter.
“I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be,” wrote Affleck in his post, going on to mention that his stay in treatment is the “first of many” steps in his path to long-term sobriety.
Paying special tribute to his estranged wife Jennifer Garner, Affleck credits his progress to the love and support of his family.
With someone of Affleck’s high-profile status stepping forward to shed light on an issue that affects countless American families, we celebrate his openness and reflect upon lowering the stigma surrounding alcoholism and addiction treatment. Affleck has added his voice to a public crisis that so often falls silent when confronted, and his acknowledgement of the work and effort required to maintain sobriety is a reminder of the work that millions of families and individuals are doing to support sobriety on a daily basis.
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