In his recent memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, actor Matthew Perry opens up about his struggles with alcohol and opioid addictions.
In particular, he talks about a long hospital stay in 2018 that was, at the time, chalked up to complications from a gastrointestinal perforation. However, instead he was actually in the hospital for a burst colon from chronic overuse of opioids. He was in the hospital for over five months.
“"The doctors told my family that I had a 2% chance to live…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’s substance use began during the filming of the hit show Friends and continued for many years as he quit and relapsed several times. He says that he went to rehab 14 times and had over 15 surgeries. He won’t say how long he’s been sober, but does emphasize how his experience with surgery and its aftereffects now helps him keep sober.
“My therapist said, 'The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life…And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore."
Reactions to the news were a little mean, but mostly just celebrating Perry’s current sobriety.
Several comments were about the quality of the picture of Perry, but other commenters were quick to jump on people being insulting to him.
Most commenters, however, were just glad he’s doing better and incredulous that he’s even alive at all to tell his story.
Many commiserated with his struggles, having themselves or close friends and family having had addictions.
Elsewhere in the interview, Perry talks about how his castmates on Friends helped him out and people pulled out that quote, as it’s quite inspiring.
Perry is heading out on a book tour for his memoir, so there will be sure to be more about his journey of recovery coming out in the future..