Affleck, who won Academy Awards for Good Will Hunting and Argo and starred as Batman in the DC Comics franchise, has been open about his issues with alcohol. He went to rehab for the first time in 2001 and has called addiction “a lifelong and difficult struggle.” Following a stay at a treatment center in 2018, Affleck said on social media, “If you have a problem, getting help is a sign of courage, not weakness or failure.”
Who is Ben Affleck?
According to Wikipedia, Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt (born August 15, 1972) is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist. His accolades include two Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. He began his career as a child when he starred in the PBS educational series The Voyage of the Mimi. He later appeared in the independent coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993) and various Kevin Smith films, including Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997), and Dogma (1999). Affleck gained wider recognition when he and childhood friend Matt Damon won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for writing Good Will Hunting (1997), which they also starred in. He then established himself as a leading man in studio films, including the disaster film Armageddon (1998), the war drama Pearl Harbor (2001), and the thrillers The Sum of All Fears and Changing Lanes (both 2002).
After a career downturn, during which he appeared in Daredevil and Gigli (both 2003), Affleck received a Golden Globe nomination for portraying George Reeves in the noir biopic Hollywoodland (2006). His directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007), which he also co-wrote, was well received. He then directed, co-wrote, and starred in the crime drama The Town (2010) and directed and starred in the political thriller Argo (2012); both were critical and commercial successes. For the latter, Affleck won the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Picture. He starred in the psychological thriller Gone Girl (2014), in the superhero films Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), and in the action thrillers The Accountant (2016) and Triple Frontier (2019). He received praise for his performance as a recovering alcoholic in the sports drama The Way Back (2020).
Affleck is the co-founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a grantmaking and advocacy-based nonprofit organization. He is also a stalwart supporter of the Democratic Party. Affleck and Damon are co-owners of the production company Pearl Street Films.
Health and Drug Problems
There is a history of addiction and mental illness in Affleck’s family. Two of his grandparents were alcoholics. His paternal grandmother, addicted to both alcohol and barbiturates, committed suicide at age 46. His paternal uncle was an addict who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His aunt was a heroin addict. Affleck attended Al-Anon support meetings as a child due to his father’s addiction issues. His brother is a recovering alcoholic.
Affleck’s own drinking became a concern when he was fifteen. His mother sent him to an Outward Bound wilderness camp for at-risk teenagers, having first considered a residential recovery program. Affleck became sober in his mid-twenties, stating in a 1998 interview that alcohol was “dangerous” for him. He received residential treatment for addiction in 2001 and maintained his sobriety for a “couple of years” afterward. In subsequent years, he declined to discuss his alcoholism in detail and later described it as a period where he “drank relatively normally”. “I thought, ‘I want to just drink like a normal person. I want to have wine at dinner.’ And I was able to for about eight years.” Affleck gradually began to drink “more and more” and, eventually, was drinking until he “passed out” on a nightly basis.
Affleck returned to residential treatment in 2017 and, following a publicly documented relapse and intervention, again in 2018. In late 2019, TMZ filmed him stumbling on a Los Angeles street; he acknowledged the following day that he had a brief “slip” after over a year of sobriety. He later described the incident as “embarrassing”: “I wish it didn’t happen. I really wish it wasn’t on the internet for my kids to see.”
Affleck has both anxiety and depression and has taken anti-depressants since age 26. He said he used alcohol to alleviate a constant feeling of “discomfort” and remarked that it “took me a long time to fundamentally, deeply, without a hint of doubt, admit to myself that I am an alcoholic.” He follows a twelve-step program. During the press tour for The Way Back in 2020, Affleck publicly discussed his addiction but said he felt “vulnerable” and did not intend to “go on talking about this issue forever”: “I think the value if there is value in me talking about being a recovering alcoholic, is that that doesn’t have to be who you are. That doesn’t have to be the label on your head.
Drug addiction is a complex neurobiological disease that requires integrated treatment of the mind, body, and spirit. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain — they change its structure and how it works. Without treatment, these brain changes can be long-lasting. Addiction is chronic, it is progressive, and if left untreated, it can be fatal.
Individuals struggling with drug addiction often feel as though they cannot function normally without their drug of choice. This can lead to a wide range of issues that impact professional goals, personal relationships, and overall health. Over time, these serious side effects can be progressive, and if left untreated, fatal. ALSO READ: Demi Lovato Drug Abuse and Addiction Problems