Jennifer Garner helps Ben Affleck check back into rehab — how effective is it a 3rd time?

Korin Miller
Writer

Ben Affleck has entered rehab for the third time after an intervention from his estranged wife Jennifer Garner, TMZ reports.

Sources tell TMZ that Garner decided to act after seeing a photo of Affleck holding a box filled with beer and liquor. Affleck reportedly knew he needed help and agreed to go back to rehab. Garner drove him to a live-in facility Wednesday, where he will stay for an “extended period of time,” TMZ says.

Affleck first went to rehab in 2001 for alcohol abuse and went back in December 2017. In March 2017, Affleck announced that he had finished rehab. “I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront,” he wrote on Facebook. “I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. 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. I’m lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I’ve done the work I set out to do. This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery.”

It’s easy to assume that rehab won’t be effective after someone has already gone through treatment before, but it “absolutely” can be, addiction specialist Neeraj Gandotra, MD, chief medical officer at Delphi Behavioral Health Group, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. And, in fact, going back into treatment is pretty common. “Once someone recognizes there’s a problem with a substance use disorder, quite frankly, it does take several attempts in most cases,” he says.

“Sobriety is a lifelong process,” psychotherapist Kathryn Smerling tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Battling the demons and avoiding the triggers is a lifelong process. And yes, it often takes several intensive sessions to flesh out the triggers of addiction. Relapsing is, therefore, often a common part of the recovery process.” 

Addiction is an ongoing issue, Gandotra explains, and if someone needs to seek treatment again, it shows that their treatment needs to be refined. Going back to rehab “provides a person insight into what worked in the past and what wasn’t working and hopefully can give them some better information in terms of how to attack the problem once they return to the community,” he says. “Absolutely going to rehab again, if it’s a good place, can achieve all of that and much more.”

For the record, there is no number of times after which rehab isn’t helpful, Gandotra adds. “There’s an idea in treatment that we have to meet the patient where they’re at,” he says. “If at that moment they’re willing to go back into treatment, whether it’s the first or 21st time, they have recognized that they need help. That is when we need to act and ensure safety.”

Research has shown that the longer someone is engaged in treatment, the more likely they are to stay sober, Gandotra says. Once a person leaves a treatment facility, if they stayed at one, that’s generally followed by regularly visiting a substance abuse counselor or therapist and enrolling in a program where they have to submit to regular urine testing for drugs or alcohol, he says. “That way, if there is any change in behavior, it is detected well before something bad happens.”

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle

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