Ben Affleck and Lindsay Skookus
EXCLUSIVE

Ben Affleck Didn’t Fall Off the Wagon Over Breakup with Lindsay Shookus

Ben Affleck‘s downward spiral was not triggered by the recent breakup with his girlfriend — the actor had been slipping in his sobriety for quite some time.

Sources close to Affleck tell The Blast close friends and family, including Jennifer Garner, had become worried about the star a few months ago when they realized he had relapsed in sobriety. It turns out, Ben had been struggling and slipping for a very long time.

We’re told one of the main problems with the “Argo” star is that he considers himself a “functioning alcoholic,” and did not see an issue with enjoying alcohol in moderation. During this time, he began seeking outpatient treatment, including a Buddhist meditation center in Los Angeles.

Affleck did break off his relationship with Lindsay Shookus around the end of July, after a year of dating but, by that point, he was already deep back into drinking. Shookus reportedly had an issue with how bad he was getting.

As for the fling Ben had with 22-year-old Playboy Playmate Shauna Sexton, sources close to the actor say she is just a “blip on the radar,” and had no lasting impression.

As we reported, an alcohol shipment he received at home in the middle of the day this week was the final straw before Garner staged an intervention. He would not have gone without the push from his estranged wife.

Affleck was taken to The Canyon treatment center in Malibu, where he will work on his recovery in a personally tailored program that includes private chefs, a meditation dome, and horse therapy.