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Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Discusses Overcoming Addiction

By Jeannie Colter

Anyone who thinks having money and or gaining fame will erase his or her problems only has to consider the number of celebrities who have acknowledged their need to check into a drug treatment center to know that this is not the case. While a lot of money can certainly ease some of a person’s troubles, it cannot necessarily save someone who has succumbed to addiction.

One celebrity who has been public about his struggles with addiction is Matthew Perry, the actor who is best known for playing Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom Friends. According to People magazine:

“Perry revealed that during Friends‘ successful run, he not only abused alcohol routinely, but following a jet ski accident in 1997, he quickly became addicted to prescription medication that a doctor had prescribed for him.”

Perry also spoke of going to rehab twice, in part because of the challenges he dealt with when he become famous and was paid a very large salary. Many of us would really like to have a large salary and imagine that we would know exactly what to do with all of the money but we haven’t experience the kinds of temptations that befall those who are known to have a lot of money.

After spending time in a drug treatment center, Perry decided he wanted to help others struggling with addiction and decided to turn one of his homes into a sober-living facility for men. He has also testified in Congress to advocate for drug courts, which offer an alternative to jail for nonviolent drug offenders. Instead of facing criminal punishment, these nonviolent drug offenders who be sent for rehabilitation and treatment.

Perry discussed how now when he looks back he sees himself that has acted rather selfishly at times. While he was never high while filming Friends, he says that at times he did have a hangover on the set and after a while, he was not able to hide his struggles with substance abuse. But now, Perry has started a new chapter in his life and he says, “…helping people struggling with alcoholism and addiction is the “thing I like the most about me.”