August 23, 2018 04:49 PM

Before Ben Affleck entered rehab for a third time on Wednesday night, he had been “working incredibly hard for the last year” to remain sober, a source close to Affleck tells 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 says.

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 says. “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.”

The source says Affleck, 46, was aware he needed help and did the right thing in reaching out.

“One of the key elements with taking control of your addiction is knowing when to seek help, which he did, and it is a major step in the right direction,” the source says.

Ben Affleck
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

EXCLUSIVE: Why Jennifer Garner Took Ben Affleck to Rehab: ‘It Was a Crisis Situation’

“One crucial aspect of Ben’s recovery is for him to be able to seek help when he feels as though he is not in control — when his ongoing treatment and meetings with sober coaches aren’t quite enough,” the insider adds. “The best case scenario is for him to seek help, which he has done willingly, and for that, we are all very grateful and hopeful.”

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 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. “He knew he needed help and was vocal about it,” a source told PEOPLE.

Warning signs that Affleck was struggling added up quickly over the last several days. But just a week ago he stepped out looking happy and healthy on his 46th birthday on August 15. The actor took his 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.”

Ben Affleck in L.A on August 15.
Splash News Online

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“He continues to focus on himself and the health of his relationships,” the friend added. “He attends meetings, many meetings, and he also does meditation and yoga.”

“While he still has his moments — and let’s be honest, everyone struggles — he continues to work hard on himself.”

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.

Affleck and Sexton then spent some time at his place on Sunday before hitting a Jack in the Box drive-thru later that day.

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“They hung out at his house and also drove around on the west side,” a source told PEOPLE. “They seemed to get along great. They were chatting and laughing. Ben looked happy.”

Later, the source said they “ordered a late dinner to his house and seem to enjoy getting to know each other.”

After Sexton spent the night at his house, the actor was photographed appearing to get a delivery of alcoholic beverages the next day with what appeared to be Johnnie Walker Blue Label scotch whisky in a blue case and some other unidentifiable bottles.

Two days after the alcohol delivery, Garner was seen arriving at Affleck’s house and later driving him to rehab.

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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