Matthew Perry is probably better known as the comedic character on the show ‘Friends’ known as Chandler Bing. As we all sat and watched the lighthearted show about friends and love that we related to so much; little did we know what was going on the behind scenes. Matthew Perry was battling and suffering with a serious addiction to alcohol and painkillers. Matthew Perry was in his early 30’s around that time and was at the height of his career. He had a multimillion dollar salary on the hit television show ‘Friends’ and had numerous offers for feature films and endorsements. It really goes to show that addiction can happen to anyone even if they have what many of us find an “ideal” life. Matthew Perry’s ideal life came at a high price; for him it resulted in an addiction to alcohol and the narcotic painkiller, so many of us have heard of before, Vicodin.
In 2002, Matthew Perry told People magazine that at the lowest points of his addiction to painkillers and alcohol he would take 20 to 30 Vicodin pills and drink about a “quart of vodka a day.” Matthew Perry’s addiction started when he was prescribed Vicodin for a wisdom tooth extraction. Eventually the drug abuse began to take its toll on his body. The rumors ran rampant at this point that Matthew Perry had an eating disorder due to the weight fluctuations he was having. The weight fluctuations were actually caused by pancreatitis which is an effect of heavy drinking. Perry than returned to rehab for an “undisclosed illness” in 2001, following a trip in 1997. There was constant media coverage of his addiction throughout the entire ordeal
And even though Perry admits the constant media coverage was overwhelming at times, it actually played a huge role in helping him to get sober and stay sober believe it or not. It is said this is because fans were more than willing to help the actor get clean and kept him in line while he was out on the town.
He told ABC News, “It (the coverage) actually ultimately helped me because I couldn’t just walk into a bar (and ask for a drink). Everybody in the bar would go, ‘You can’t do that! I just read that you can’t do that! I can’t (give you a drink), you can’t (drink).”
Perry is now on the road to recovery, and works with addiction specialists and government officials to reform America’s drug laws, even offering up his posh Malibu, California home as a sober living facility to fellow addicts. Matthew Perry is doing everything possible to return the favor. He has gone so far as to even open a sober living house to help men transition from rehab into the real world. “The thing that I’m most proud of in my life is that if a stranger came up to me and said, ‘I can’t stop drinking. I can’t stop drinking. Can you help me?’ I can say, ‘Yes, I can help you.'”