Friends star Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the show, turned 46 on August 19. In a video released on his birthday, the actor took advantage of an opportunity to openly speak about his long-term struggle with substance abuse.
Perry has claimed to be a very private person. But with being on a TV show that garnered 30 million viewers, everything had become quite public for him, including his publicized battle with alcohol and drugs.
Perry opened the video with, “You can’t have a drug problem for 30 years and then expect to have it be solved in 28 days.”
He then went on to speak about the value of treatments centers, giving the example of Phoenix House on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. In the almost four-minute video, Perry said that he was moved by the hope he saw there, and according to him, that hope is what recovery is all about. He added that getting sober was a really difficult thing.
The video also showed Perry meeting three other clients at the Phoenix House. He weighed in on the importance of treatment centers, giving them credit for separating an addict from their previous, toxic environment. The four of them praised the advantages of addicts helping others.
Perry had entered a 28-day rehabilitation program back in 1997 for a Vicodin addiction. In 2001, he did another stint at rehab for an alcohol and pills addiction. He confessed that he was at such a low point in his life where he would drink two pints of vodka daily and consume as many as 30 tablets.
While the Friends star admits that he has had many “ups and downs” in his life, he is glad that he can now use his experiences to help others.
Chavez, P., “‘It was so public what was happening to me’: Matthew Perry discusses substance abuse struggles in video released on his 46th birthday,” Daily Mail web site, August 20, 2015; http://goo.gl/6wcwhA.