Matthew Perry Opens Up About Struggles With Drugs In Diane Sawyer Interview


In a candid interview with journalist Diane Sawyer, former “Friends” star Matthew Perry revealed the depths of his personal battle with drug addiction. The interview took place last year as part of an ABC News segment promoting Perry’s memoir, titled “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.”

Key Takeaway

Matthew Perry discusses his struggles with drug addiction and the challenges he faced throughout his life.

The Struggles Revealed

During the interview, Sawyer read an excerpt from Perry’s memoir, where he confessed, “My friends call me Matty and I should be dead.” Perry’s response, delivered with a serious yet troubled expression, confirmed the truth behind his words.

Sawyer highlighted another passage from the book, emphasizing the importance of a supportive community in overcoming addiction. Perry agreed, sharing that his addiction was always looming, waiting for him to be alone so that he could succumb to its grasp. He admitted, “You lose to the disease.”

A Lifelong Battle

Perry’s struggle with drug addiction spanned many years. In the interview, he opened up about his dependence on the painkiller Vicodin, shocking Sawyer by revealing that he consumed a staggering 55 pills per day. When asked how he obtained such a vast amount, Perry confessed to raiding medicine cabinets during open houses and even faking migraines to obtain prescriptions.

The actor admitted to going through countless cycles of sobriety and relapse, confessing that he would become overconfident and neglect essential support systems like 12-step meetings, leading him back into the grip of addiction. Perry shared that he had detoxed more than 60 times over the years, spending half his life in rehab or sober living facilities and attending thousands of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. He also disclosed that his struggles with alcohol began at the tender age of 14 and escalated to daily consumption by the time he turned 18.

Reflecting on Recovery

Although there were moments of hope and resilience, with Perry expressing a sense of stability and strength, Sawyer pressed him further. Perry explained that he had created safety nets to navigate his addiction, but his journey was far from easy. The interview painted a powerful portrait of a lifelong battle against drug addiction and the complex nature of maintaining sobriety.

Matthew Perry’s story serves as a reminder of the stigmatized and challenging reality faced by individuals struggling with addiction. It underscores the importance of understanding, empathy, and support within society to help those afflicted find the strength they need to overcome.