Educating Through Honesty: Matthew Perry’s Addiction Journey
Authored by Quincy Adam
Matthew Perry’s raw honesty about his long battle with addiction aimed to destigmatize substance use disorders and encourage others to seek help. Despite his fame on Friends, Perry privately struggled with worsening alcohol and painkiller addictions.
He poignantly described the early allure of drinking that spiraled into dependence. As Friends grew popular, Perry hoped fame would solve his alcoholism, but it only worsened his isolation.
Vicodin prescribed after an injury sent Perry’s addiction downward, soon taking 50 pills daily. After years of abuse, he endured a coma.
By courageously sharing his story, Perry wanted to increase the understanding of addiction and offer hope through honesty.
Recovery from addiction is rarely a solo journey, as Perry learned. The disease waits stealthily for moments of isolation, seeking to divide individuals from caring supporters. But human connection and understanding can shine light through the darkness.
Perry’s road to recovery was lengthy, involving 6,000 AA meetings, 30 years of therapy, at least 15 rehab visits, 65 detoxes, and half his life spent in therapy. Periods of sobriety were followed by heartbreaking relapses when he convinced himself meetings were no longer needed.
By courageously sharing his story without sugarcoating the painful details, Perry continued to educate others around addiction and offered courage to others experiencing similar darkness. He knew speaking openly could save lives. As Perry stated, “I’ve got to help as many people as I can. I know my story is going to help people.”
At Recovery Centers of America (RCA), our mission is helping patients enter recovery through compassionate, evidence-based treatment across a full continuum of care. From medically monitored detox to comprehensive inpatient and outpatient offerings to an industry-leading alumni community – we meet our patients where they are and stay with them through their whole journey. If you or a loved one needs help, call 1-800-RECOVERY 24/7.
Disclaimer: Matthew Perry never received services from or endorsed RCA.
- “Interview with Diane Sawyer.” The Diane Sawyer Interview, ABC, 27 Oct. 2022, https://abc.com/movies-and-specials/matthew-perry-the-diane-sawyer-interview. Accessed 30 Oct. 2023.
- Perry, Matthew. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. Flatiron Books, 2022.