Matthew Perry Opens Up About Past Drug Problems, Getting Sober: “It Was So Public”

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Matthew Perry’s experience with drug and alcohol abuse and his subsequent sobriety made headlines all through the late ‘90s — and maybe, he said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, for the better.

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“When I was in big trouble, it was so public because I was on a TV show that 30 million people were watching,” the former Friends actor said. “The fact that I [am] on TV makes people listen a little bit more, so I take advantage of that from time to time.”

The actor checked into rehab for a prescription pill addiction in 1997 and again in 2001.

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Perry, 46, who currently stars on CBS comedy The Odd Couple with ex Lauren Graham, was honored for his work with Phoenix House, a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, earlier this year. The ever-witty actor quipped of the accolades, “I’m an award-winning alcoholic, I guess.”

He is also the founder of his own sober-living facility for men, the Perry House. The Malibu beach abode was once his own home.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life and a lot of wonderful accolades,” he told THR, “but the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, ‘Will you help me stop drinking?’ I will say, ‘Yes. I know how to do that.’”

 

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