Matthew Perry’s path to sobriety has not only been hard, but it has also cost him a lot. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Perry talked about how much money he’s spent trying to beat his addictions.
“I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober,” he reveals.
The former member of Friends talks about his long history of drug and alcohol abuse, which he says started when he was 14. He then became addicted to painkillers, which led to many trips to the emergency room and several stays in the hospital.
Perry says he has been clean and sober since the beginning of 2021, which was just before the highly publicized Friends reunion special that was filmed for HBO Max and aired in May of that same year.
He also told the New York Times that after the seventh and final season of Friends, in which his character Chandler Bing married Courteney Cox’s character Monica Gellar, he was “driven back to the treatment center in a pickup truck driven by a sober technician.”
“[I was] at the height of my highest point in Friends, the highest point in my career, the iconic moment on the iconic show,” he says. “…When you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I wasn’t doing it to feel high or to feel good. I certainly wasn’t a partyer; I just wanted to sit on my couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. That was heaven for me. It no longer is.”
Perry also discusses his drug use with Diane Sawyer in an interview that aired on ABC News. He talks about how his co-stars in the popular sitcom tried to help him out while he was working on it.
A preview of the actor’s upcoming interview, which will air on ABC on October 28 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time and feature the 53-year-old actor, was recently made available. Perry says in the preview that Jennifer Aniston was the one who helped him the most when his drinking got out of hand.
Perry remembers that Aniston told him, “We know you’re drinking.” Perry has confirmed that in addition to the 55 Vicodin he takes every day, he also takes Methadone and Xanax and drinks a “full quart” of vodka every day.
“Yeah, imagine how scary a moment that was,” he tells Sawyer. “She was the one that reached out the most. I’m really grateful to her for that.”
In 2021, Aniston said that she couldn’t understand how Perry could “self-torture” himself while working on Friends.
“I didn’t understand the level of anxiety and self-torture [that] was put on Matthew Perry if he didn’t get that laugh, and the devastation that he felt,” Aniston said on the Today show. “[But it] makes a lot of sense.”
In the interview that Sawyer did with Perry, he said that he was “in a coma and barely escaped death by a hair’s breadth.”
The actor is being more honest than ever about his life and career before the release of his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, on November 1.
In an interview with People, Perry also talked about his problems with alcohol and opioids. Perry was only 24 when he was cast as Chandler Bing, but he was already having a lot of trouble with drinking when he got the part. When he started taking too much Vicodin and lost a lot of weight, the situation got very bad.
His addiction lasted long after he left Friends, and a few years ago, he was very close to dying because of it. Perry’s colon burst when he was 49 years old because he took too many opioids. This was called a gastrointestinal perforation. The actor was in a coma for two weeks, stayed in the hospital for five months, and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months as he fought for his life.
“The doctors told my family that I had a two percent chance to live,” he told People. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”