Matthew Perry Credits God, Friends for Helping Him Overcome Addiction
By Movieguide®️ Contributor
On the surface, actor Matthew Perry was on top of the world at the time of his hit show FRIENDS in the 1990s.
However, Perry was hiding a secret addiction that he recently revealed in his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big, Terrible Thing.”
“I was in a dark room, meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone, for months,” Perry said. “Addiction is an obsession of your mind [that says] now give me everything you gave me before and more.”
He said that he started drinking heavily by the time he was 18, and at one point he was taking up to 55 Vicodin a day. He managed to hide his addiction for years until it got to the point he couldn’t anymore. He expressed gratitude to his
FRIENDS costar Jennifer Aniston for helping in the process of recovery when she confronted him about his substance abuse.
“Imagine how scary that was,” he said. “And I said, ‘How? I thought I was hiding it so well.’ And she said, ‘We can smell it on you.’ But I wasn’t in a position to stop because that is what addiction is, but she was the one to reach out the most.”
The lowest point of his drug abuse was nearly dying at 49 from an opioid overdose as previously reported by Movieguide®️:
“The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” he shared. “I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that’s called a Hail Mary. No one survives that.”
Perry spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital. He also had to use a colostomy bag for nine months.
“There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived,” he explained. “So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason.”
It was God that broke through and ultimately helped him overcome his addiction the 53-year-old said.
Perry said that he was able to stay sober for two years after praying to God and encountering Him:
“‘God, please help me,’ I whispered. ‘Show me that you are here. God, please help me,’” he wrote in his memoir. “I started to cry. I mean, I really started to cry – that shoulder-shaking kind of uncontrollable weeping. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because, for the first time in my life, I felt OK,” Perry said.
He goes on to say, “I felt safe, taken care of. Decades of struggling with God, and wrestling with life, and sadness, all was being washed away, like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”
He says his prayer for help was finally the “right thing” to ask God for in contrast to the first pray he ever made to God at 18.“’God you can do whatever you want to me, just please make me famous’,” he recalled asking.
“That was the first time I ever prayed, and I look back at it as a dumb prayer, like a prayer of like a really young person,” Perry confessed. “God had shown me a sliver of what life could be. He had saved me that day, and for all days, no matter what. He had turned me into a seeker, not only of sobriety, and truth but also of Him.”
Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.
What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.
You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.
Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.
Enjoy articles like this? Sign up for our mailing list to receive the latest news, interviews, and movie reviews for families: