Matthew Perry opens up about addiction struggles | Nightline
a house in Los Angeles the door
opens Mom oh it's Cheyenne Square oh it's that
Perry is really wonderful
Perry is 53 years old but he knows that most of us will always remember when we first saw him Well who wants light cheese and who wants dark cheese Chandler Bing played by an actor who was as effortlessly fast as an original and now it seems impossible that all those years ago when we laughed we never knew the young star was fighting for his life in a Riptide of
addiction that he was. dragging to hell and over and over and he was trying to keep it a secret from everyone Secrets kill you Secrets kill people like me now
Perry has put those secrets on the pages of a book that is dedicated to other people who, like him, they might need help.
It was important to me to do something that would help people, friends, lovers and the terrible thing is that you start with a thunderclap front page. Hello, my name is
Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me M Addie and I should be dead yes that's definitely true you say
addiction the big terrible thing is too powerful for anyone to defeat alone but together one day at a time we can beat her, yes, your disease is outside, just pushing an arm. oops just waiting just waiting for you waiting to be alone cause you only lose to the disease and now i finally feel good and i feel i have some strength what does it mean to feel good? it means i have built some security networks around this you know for some reason it's obviously because i was in friends more people will listen to me so i have to take advantage of that i have to help as many people as i can we have all learned that it is not ours to ask someone in recovery how long have you been sober, says that's why you've written the harrowing details of your journey through alcohol, all those drugs and the fight to break free, six thousand AAA sessions, therapy, 30 years, 15 rehabs, maybe at least half your life in treatment or in Sober Houses you've been in talks at, he estimates 65 times survived 14 surgeries after a near-fatal emergency four years ago.
They took me to the ER trauma room and that's where my colon exploded. The ECMO machine when you talk to any doctor is a Hail Mary it's the last thing you do before people die and there were five people that night that were put on the ECMO machine and I was the only one who survived he was in a coma for 14 days in which he recovers from everything he has been through, they are still worn in his voice and speech and the scars on his body like a warrior returning from battle. I was in that hospital for five months and you know I escaped death. he is proof that
addiction can enter any home, any heart, he is 14 years old with his canadian friends and a common teenage rite of passage i never drank before and i drank this whole bottle of what was called a duckling from anwar which was the name of victoria e and i lay on the grass and i was in heaven and i thought to myself this must be the way normal people feel all the time and i thought that at 14. their friends could drink and stop but for him relief came so easy it became his destiny but you know when he was 18 he was drinking he was drinking every day its a pattern that continues even after he got a part starring in a program that was later called friends like us, but with which you had no problems. the lines you had no problem with the schedule you had no problem showing up every day early yes and i made a rule that i would never drink or drink anything at work so i would never do that but i would blindly show up hungover like shaking and a crazy hangover but somehow brilliant on camera maybe because he's an athlete and young and he cares so much I loved Chandler I love the show and I also knew you remember this because it's going to be the time of your life and I knew it Lisa Kudrow says that
Perry was always the one trying to keep everyone else happy Lisa is the funniest maybe the funniest person I've ever worked with and Jennifer Aniston they had met years before
Perry asked on a date she said no let's be friends Did you have one of your cereal crushes?
Say yes, I mean you really got your chain smashed. I didn't do it right. How can you not be in love with Jerry, Courtney and Lisa? So it was kind of hard for me to go to work because I had to pretend I wasn't. these aliens it's the year 2000 and he's the number one sitcom star on tv it's the time that should have been the toast of the town i was in a dark room meeting nothing but drug dealers and all alone for months the spiral into prescription drugs has begun he has a memory of the first pill as indelible as the first teenage drink a long time ago he was doing well this afternoon he was making a movie called Fools Rush In And during a lunch break he was playing on a jet ski has a wound has given him a pill for pa walks in and says it was like warm honey going into his veins i swear to god i think if i had never taken it none of the next three decades would have gone the way they did who knows but when i woke up they had delivered 40 more pills to my house they were Vicodin he tells himself maybe he can control his drinking if he uses pills to control his fear and his doubts.
More pickups of many kinds that take over with a vengeance. one day she got cold snap and she felt absolutely terrible her body has built up such a tolerance she takes more pills to avoid withdrawal then terribly more 55 viking a day which is where i was 55 yeah how did you get 55 a day ? waking up and realizing I needed to get 55 of them or I'd get really sick, so I did all sorts of things, a bunch of doctors faked migraines and whatnot, and I think the weirdest thing I did was on Sundays. he would go to open houses and he would go to the bathrooms in the outdoor soap house and see what pills they had in there and steal them and I think they thought right there is no way Chandler would come in and steal us hello everyone george stephanopolis here thanks for visiting the abc news youtube channel if you want more videos show highlights and watch live event coverage click right here to subscribe to our channel and don't forget to download the abc news app to get breaking news alerts time thanks for looking