Ben Affleck's Instagram Post After Leaving Rehab Reminds Us Recovery Is a 'Full-Time Commitment'

Ben Affleck shared a sentiment on Instagram most people who have handled addiction know to be true: Recovery never truly ends nor is it linear.

“Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle,” Affleck wrote after finishing a 40-day rehab stint for alcohol addiction. “Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment.”

Relapses are a reality for most people who live with an addiction, which is considered a chronic illness. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates for addiction are similar to relapse rates for other chronic medical illnesses like asthma or hypertension. Forty to 60 percent of people who have a substance use disorder relapse.

Relapses can happen for a number of reasons, including not complying with treatment but also if a treatment model doesn’t work for an individual. Stress can play a large role in relapses, both for addiction and other chronic conditions.

As Affleck pointed out, most people with chronic conditions stay in treatment for life. For those living with addiction, treatment can include inpatient rehab, medications, therapy and other lifestyle changes.

A treatment that works for a while may not work forever, which is the case for many health conditions. Bumps in recovery are normal and are something other people who have dealt with addiction can attest to.

Demi Lovato, who is currently in inpatient treatment for drug addiction, also posted to Instagram in August about her “journey with addiction.” Lovato has been a vocal advocate for mental health and addiction issues for years.

“What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time,” she wrote. “It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.”

It can be hard to prevent relapses, but there are some ways that could help if you live with a substance use disorder. Since stress is a common reason for relapses, finding ways to handle stress healthfully can help. Also, finding a positive support network and limiting situations or relationships where the substance may be prevalent can help prevent relapses.

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