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

Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry opened up about his path to sobriety in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Denise Truscello/WireImage

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.

“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.

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.’”

In a 2013 interview with ABC News, Perry opened up about battling his demons while filming Friends back in the mid-to-late-‘90s.

“I think I was pretty good at hiding it, but eventually people were aware,” he said.

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