After a battle with drugs almost killed him, Matthew Perry spent $9 million trying to get sober. The actor from Friends said he had been to rehab 15 times to try to beat his drinking and prescription drug addictions.
The 53-year-old is going to write a tell-all book called Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. In it, he will talk about his career, his addictions, and his relationships from the past.
The actor, who is 53 years old and whose autobiography will come out next month, says he hasn't used drugs in 18 months. Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the hugely popular NBC sitcom, told The New York Times.
I've probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober. I would fake back injuries. I would fake migraine headaches. I had eight doctors going at the same time. I would wake up and have to get 55 Vicodin that day, and figure out how to do it. When you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I go to this place, and I need to take three. And then I go to this place, and I’m going to take five because I’m going to be there longer.- Matthew Perry
Vicodin is a painkiller that can help with mild to severe pain. He also said:
It’s exhausting, but you have to do it or you get very, very sick. I wasn’t doing it to feel high or to feel good. I certainly wasn’t a partier; I just wanted to sit on my couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. That was heaven for me. It no longer is.- Matthew Perry
The famous person said that he started drinking when he was a teenager. He then moved on to vodka, painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, and the sleep aid Xanax.
In 2018, Perry's decades of drinking and drug use caught up with him. He got pneumonia, his colon exploded, he was briefly on life support, he was in a coma for two weeks, he had a colostomy bag for nine months, and he had more than a dozen stomach surgeries.
In his autobiography, he also talks about how his front teeth fell out and he had to put them in a plastic bag and carry them to the dentist. Due to his drug use, Perry's weight changed a lot, which changed how he looked on the show.
In his book, he also talks about how Jennifer Aniston confronted him about his drinking in his trailer. He also talks about how he was treated for alcoholism while he was filming his wedding to Monica and how he left the studio with his "sober technician" to go back to the facility.
The Golden Globe nominee also said that his Friends co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc were there for him when he was at his lowest.
He said that at one point he was taking 55 Vicodin a day and weighed 128 pounds. He played fan-favorite Chandler Bing on the popular NBC sitcom from 1994 to 2004.
They were understanding, and they were patient. It's like penguins. In nature, when one is sick or very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up and walk around until that penguin can walk on its own. And that's kind of what the cast did for me.- Matthew Perry
Perry has said in the past that his addictions were so bad that he can't remember the third through sixth seasons of the show when he was on it. Perry ended his three-year engagement with Molly Hurwitz in 2021. He says he now has a "sober companion" and "a couple of people on the payroll to keep me safe."
Perry's book is dedicated "to all the sufferers out there," and he says, "You know who you are." He also helped three people join Alcoholics Anonymous. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry's autobiography, will be published by Flatiron on November 1.
Matthew Perry said that he has spent $9 million of his own money over the course of his life to get clean from drugs and alcohol. The "Friends" alum told the New York Times that he hasn't used any drugs in 18 months.
This means that by the time the "Friends" reunion aired in May 2021, he was just getting clean. Perry knows that most addicts don't have the resources he does, but he also said that they have "the gift of anonymity," which means that their worst moments won't be shown to the public.