Ben Affleck’s Hollywood career may be one of the factors preventing him from staying sober, an addiction expert tells PEOPLE.
Carol Liot, the clinical director of The Dunes East Hampton, an addiction treatment center in Northwest Harbor, New York, tells PEOPLE that being in the public eye could be taking a toll on the Good Will Hunting star.
“We have a lot of high profile clients like Ben Affleck and what we do notice is that their lifestyles are so demanding that I think it makes it difficult to maintain all that,” Liot says.
Affleck, 46, entered rehab on Wednesday with a source telling PEOPLE, “He knew he needed help and was vocal about it.”
Liot says that people with a “high profile life” have an “even more challenging” time at recovery due to lack of privacy and anonymity.
“Everything they do is sort of public knowledge,” she says. “If they’re an actor like Ben Affleck, just staying consistent with the aftercare treatment can be very challenging, depending where you are on set and where you are in the world — and kind of the demands of your work schedule.”
Before the actor entered rehab he had been “working incredibly hard for the last year” to remain sober, a source close to Affleck told PEOPLE.
“Addiction is not something that goes away. Every day is a battle for recovering addicts, they are fighting for their sobriety and to lead healthy, balanced lives every day,” the source said.
Liot says that the reason Affleck and others suffering from addiction relapse is not due to a “character flaw.” “Addiction is something that affects a person on multiple levels and really needs to be treated on multiple levels,” she stresses. “We have families saying, ‘If you loved me, you wouldn’t do this,’ and it just has nothing to do with that.”
Affleck had frequently been sighted visiting outpatient treatment centers in L.A. “Ben has been working incredibly hard for the last year to follow a streamlined program designed for him and his journey,” the source continued. “He has been attending countless meetings, has continued to work with sober coaches and does his best to follow through with the things that will help him maintain his health.”
Affleck wrote on Facebook in 2017 after a previous stay in rehab: “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.”
His new return to a treatment facility came after his ex Jennifer Garner was photographed arriving at his home on Wednesday and later leaving, looking upset. She later returned and drove Affleck to a Malibu rehab center.
The actor previously spent time in rehab in 2001 and 2017.
Affleck celebrated his 46th birthday on August 15 and took his three kids, Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6, out to dinner that night and the group was all smiles as they left the family outing.
Just before his birthday, a friend of the actor told PEOPLE that “Ben is doing well. He is in a good place mentally and has worked really hard to get there.”
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After his birthday, Affleck was photographed out on a date with 22-year-old Playboy model Shauna Sexton. Shortly after, news broke that Affleck had recently split from Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus, 38, after over a year of dating.
The two were spotted together ordering Jack In The Box at a drive-thru with Sexton spending the night at his home,
The next day, the actor was photographed appearing to get a delivery of alcoholic beverages with what appeared to be Johnnie Walker Blue Label scotch whisky in a blue case and some other unidentifiable bottles.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
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