A necessary expense. Matthew Perry opened up about the cost of battling drug and alcohol addiction for more than half of his life.
“I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober,” the Friends alum, 53, told the New York Times in an interview published Sunday, October 23.
Perry opened up about how he began drinking at age 14 and eventually started using benzodiazepines and opioids, including Vicodin, Xanax and OxyContin. The Massachusetts native said it’s not only rehab stints that he’s had to pay for but also the medical emergencies caused by his drug use.
In 2018, his addiction led to a hospitalization, according to the Times. Perry suffered from pneumonia and an exploded colon. He had a brief stint on life support, spent two weeks in a coma and nine months with a colostomy bag. He required more than a dozen stomach surgeries.
He opens up about his struggles in his new memoir, titled Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, where he reveals that he has been sober since early 2021, shortly before the Friends reunion aired that May.
It was Perry’s costars who helped him realize he needed help. He starred as Chandler Bing on NBC’s Friends between 1994 and 2004, and he went to rehab twice during the 10-season run, first in 1997 and again in 2001.
Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay on the 10-season sitcom, wrote the forward for his memoir, out November 4. “It’s a hideous disease, and he has a tough version of it. What’s not changing is his will to keep going, keep fighting and keep living,” she told the NYT. “I love Matthew a lot. We’re part of a family. I’m basically ending this with ‘I’ll be there for you’ [the ‘Friends’ theme song], but it’s true. I’ll always be there for him.”
She isn’t the only one. Perry also revealed that Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green, was one of the first to truly confront him about his drinking.
“She was the one that reached out the most,” the 17 Again star told Diane Sawyer in a trailer for their Friday, October 28, sit-down interview. “I’m really grateful to her for that.”
Perry added: “Imagine how scary a moment that was.”
If you or anyone you know is facing substance abuse issues, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information 24/7.
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