Matthew Perry Shares The Staggering Amount He Spent Trying To Get Sober

Matthew Perry Addiction: The Friends star has revealed that he spent a staggering amount attempting to get sober.
Credit: Alamy

Matthew Perry has said that he spent millions of dollars trying to escape his addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs.

The Friends star, 53, spoke to The New York Times about his upcoming memoir, ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’, when he made the comment. 

He said: “I’ve probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober.

I would fake back injuries. I would fake migraine headaches. I had eight doctors going at the same time.”

Find out why Lisa Kudrow refuses to watch Friends in the clip below…

Perry said of his substance abuse, which included addictions to Vicodin, Xanax and OxyContin: “I would wake up and have to get 55 Vicodin that day and figure out how to do it. 

“When you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I go to this place, and I need to take three. And then I go to this place, and I’m going to take five because I’m going to be there longer. 

“It’s exhausting but you have to do it or you get very, very sick.”

“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.”

Related Article: Courteney Cox Says Matthew Perry ‘Struggled’ With Pressure Of Friends

Perry disclosed that he has recently celebrated 18 months of sobriety, indicating that he was sober for the Friends reunion special in May 2021.

The 17 Again star previously told People about his new book and his decades-long journey to quitting drugs and alcohol, explaining that ‘everything starts with sobriety’.

He said to the news outlet: “Because if you don’t have sobriety, you’re going to lose everything that you put in front of it, so my sobriety is right up there.

“I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything.”

Perry also revealed he had a near-death experience after his colon burst, hospitalising him for five months and forcing him to use a colostomy bag.

Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc in Friends
Matthew Perry has opened up on his addiction battles ahead of the release of his new memoir. Credit: NBC

These health battles, he says, were what prompted him to get sober.

Perry, a Golden Globe nominee, also credited his Friends co-stars, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc, for being there through his lowest moments.

The Fools Rush In star said that at one point during his portrayal of Chandler Bing between 1994 and 2004, he weighed just 128 pounds as a result of his drug abuse. 

“They were understanding, and they were patient,” Perry said. “It’s like penguins. 

“In nature, when one is sick or very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up and walk around until that penguin can walk on its own. 

“And that’s kind of what the cast did for me.”

Perry’s memoir ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ will be available from November 1.

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.