Matthew Perry's road to sobriety
July 3rd, 2013
01:08 PM ET

Matthew Perry's road to sobriety

While the long-running sitcom "Friends" was a high point for Matthew Perry professionally, it was a lonely low point in his personal life.

The actor, now 43, opens up in the new issue of People magazine about his struggle with substance abuse and alcoholism, which he battled while playing the lovably sarcastic Chandler Bing on NBC's iconic series.

“I was on 'Friends' from age 24-34," Perry recalls. "From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like I had it all. It was actually a very lonely time for me because I was suffering from alcoholism. It was going on before 'Friends,' but it’s a progressive disease.”

Perry was prescribed Vicodin after a Jet Ski accident in 1997, and he remembers that he "felt better than I ever felt in my entire life. I had a big problem with pills and alcohol, and I couldn’t stop."

While he was "never high at work," he does remember being "painfully, painfully hung over. Then eventually things got so bad I couldn't hide it, and then everybody knew."

Perry went to rehab twice, in 1997 and in 2001, and subsequently focused on staying sober by seeking treatment when he needed it.

"I finally got it. Something clicked," he said. "You have to want the help. You have to be willing to change."

These days, Perry is putting energy toward helping others, and he's turned his Malibu Beach digs into a sober living facility for men called Perry's House.

“In 2005 I bought this house because I subscribed to the theory of ‘If I just lived over there, I’d be fine.’ I’d buy houses and I’d move," the actor said. "It was a classic case of trying to fix inside stuff with outside stuff. ... Perry House opened about six months ago. So now that ego-driven mistake is being used to help people. How cool is that?”

The star's latest project, "Go On," has been shuttered by NBC, but that hasn't robbed him of optimism. When he looks toward the future, he sees himself building a family of his own.

“I’d love to start a family," Perry told People. "I think I’d make a great dad, and I think shortly I would make a great husband."

The new issue of People magazine hits newsstands July 5.


Filed under: Celebrities

soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. cnn has advised me para moose block will be off shortly

    -

    July 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hi

    I would see other people Matt...

    July 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. For you own sanity...see another.

    -

    July 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sue

    How does one constantly force someone too remain with them...I find that so sad.

    July 8, 2013 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Looking for a nice man...ages 41-50

    Hi...if there is a nice man out there that would like too date and just have fun,be friends please leave me a message right here on cnn and we can talk about it. ciao...

    July 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Looking for a nice man...ages 41-50

    Hi...if there is a nice man out there that would like too date and just have fun,be friends please leave me a message right here on cnn and we can talk about it. ciao.

    July 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Love chandler...

    He's got a great woman who truly cares for him that last one was a loser, his self confidence went out the window, she treated him like sh-t and still never game him s-x...gross....

    July 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hands

    It is so true once you hit the ole 50–that's it!....some women looze the stamina and many do not....once he give the ok its jump on his bones city!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hands

    It is so true once you hit the ole 50–that's it!....some women looze the stamina and many do not....once he give the ok its jump on his bones city!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mathew deserves more...

    and went out for it...I am so happy he's back and making changes...

    July 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A-Bex

    nothing wrong with being a -bexual....just own up too it ... I am not a-bexual however I always took breaks in between boyfriends because too many pee pee's for a woman is disgusting...call me old fashioned on that part.....however if the person does not want too do it ...its ok....just own up too it.

    July 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hey

    FWB

    July 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kathy

    The dysfunction comes from hiding in that closet for so long. He is a big ole Mo...surprised that hasn't come out yet.

    July 6, 2013 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Shay

      Or from having to read comments about themselves like your ignorant remarks.

      July 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • The comment is mine because hacks into checking accounts and this is a blog so therefore is say whatever the heck i want if she does not like SHE CAN MOTOR OUT...

      July 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hands

    It is so true once you hit the ole 50–that's it!....some women looze the stamina and many do not....once he give the ok its jump on his bones city!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Boo --one last pucker for you then i have too go...

    love u

    July 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Matt

    my favorite character on friends...all the best

    July 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Matt is one hot thing-hopefully he will be confident too realize it one day

    July 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Agreed...i 'm almost 50 and there is nothing more fun then loving a man and the s0x is so much fun....the best.

    July 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Nanette from 53rd---any nooks tonight?

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  20. This big bod would be all over chandler in 1 second....at my age we love too love men....its so much fun.

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Off too the movies..have a great night k?

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  22. All this whining about doing it...its amazing

    why does the other party have too beg for it...if I have too beg its time too shove off and go too anther man who will be with me.

    July 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  23. People have too own up and just say i am not interested in having s-x with you... i love you but i am not interested....either leave or FWB

    July 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  24. If Chandler ever gave me the green light dat would be it for him! hahahahaha

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  25. why does s-x have too be scheduled already that's strike 1

    you have too go for it whenever you can...if you do not go for it it means you have no interest and that's ok just own up too it so one can figure out the next step

    July 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  26. I love relationships and agree...

    be nice to each other friends and when you get home/hotel its freak city....why is this so difficult....Control and using is the worst way too be and then you expect people too perform? no way

    July 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Plan s-x? With that if you base on mood the job will never get done....bad mood, lazy, it hurts, i'm tired, i'm this and i'm that...all bologna cuz de ain't no interest.

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  28. The real Matt has a wonderful girlfriend who helped him through his depression and helped him move forward...that's the girlfriend men need --- they are fun, nice, friendly too his friends and a freek in private...(you get my drift here right)?

    July 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Marita--if there is a story every night about why he or she does not want too...there is no attraction.

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Relationships are all about s-x and love--if its a control game then you need too rethink your needs an future.

    you know what I mean dear.

    July 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  31. S-x is the foundation for a relationship...if she has excuse after excuse it might be time too find another lady who will be there for you.

    July 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  32. FWB for Matt---i would say best course of action now.

    July 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  33. The woman is A-bexual...Voted: FWB Matt

    July 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  34. She doesn't like too do it with you.... i never said i didn't like it..

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  35. HEY USAMOM...With all your problems your the last person anyone would listen too...truth

    July 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  36. If Matt loosens up not an issue--

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  37. I'm sorry dear...that wasn't that matt i was talking about...nobody is leaving anywhere--boobies are fun movies.

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  38. The fact Matt is just there makes me happy.

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • USAMOM

      Kudos. Gotta give it away to keep it MAtt. – When its time you will meet the right one! God Loves You!!

      July 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Give it up? What are we children...your afraid i am not.

      -

      July 5, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • USA Mom -- i would never go too you for s-x advice...truth

      -

      July 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  39. the fact matt is outside reading the morning news in front of starbucks makes me happy...

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Not gonna stop lovin Matt cuz your here--

    -

    July 5, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  41. cxbxcberyery547

    … Unbelievable…… My friend Maggie has just married to a handsome wealthy black man. They met through ~ ~ BlàckŴhiteHub.Çoм~~ They told me it is a Specialist black white dating for black & white singles seeking interracial relationships, dating ,love. Here you will find interracial singles from Brooklyn, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and all the way to Toronto Canada, London England and Sydney Australia ,France, Germany , african american who have joined our love boat. All the best! If you are single, have a try.xcbxcb

    July 5, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  42. You can't wish away a neuro-chemical imbalance

    Several things here; 1st– for the majority of the posters here with nothing but criticism and insults for.. EVERYONE.. but themselves, like those who only spew hatred, and engage in base, infantile name-calling..PLEASE learn to express complete thoughts with something resembling proper spelling and grammar. Have you NO pride in how you appear through your ill-chosen, misspelled, hateful words?? Are you really stuck at "Gee isn't it fun to just flame everyone and everything".. Right? Unless you ARE in middle school, please raise your game to at least "sub-par" Second, there is a wave of feeling currently that says that people with mental or substance "issues" need only "think happy thoughts" whistle a little tune and they MUST get better; they must WANT to feel bad, suffer horrible damage to the psyche and risk spiritual and physical death. I call this the "silver linings playbook" effect (what a crock of crap that movie was!) Folks, these pains of the afflicted and addicted are real even if you can't see the scars and the sufferers need medical attention. Finally– GROW UP and have some compassion. Default hate mode is getting SO tiresome and is just TOO easy for the immature to regress to.

    July 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  43. doctrineteacheradvice.

    FWB

    July 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  44. MattIssues

    The dysfunction is caused by the sadness in his life and then too ease the pain he went too the alcohol

    July 5, 2013 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  45. Knocks

    I never said the dysfunction was caused by alcohol...

    July 5, 2013 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  46. We are not talking about alcohol dear...

    July 5, 2013 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  47. Chandlerisnumber1

    This is such great news .. Matt has been through heck and back over the last 13 years and now he is ready too handle the world again. Its is very difficult especially if you are around sucked in dysfunction 24 hours a day. it can pull you in and you feel more trapped -.....Matt was able too pull out and now he is actually talking about his problems too others and helping them....he's the best! hysterical as chandler.

    July 5, 2013 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  48. fan

    Matt has suffer enough over the years with disappointments and life not working the way it should. He finally realized things were just not working out and decided too move forward with fixing the issues.

    July 5, 2013 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  49. Then Last person you ever want too listen too is too M.A.P.

    0

    July 5, 2013 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  50. Helping someone who is hurting--

    From all the information I have read on this man...he has suffered for a very long time. he's only 43 and why does have so much pain inside. we have too listen too people when they are hurting not yes them to death and just tell them everything is going too be fine....people who hurt don't want too hear that. they don't want too hear everything will be ok, or everything is fine do not worry.....in their eyes nothing is fine or dandy and we need too be considerate of others who suffer not blow them off and tell them everything is going work out ......our job is not too make the decisions for them but too encourage them too have the strength too make their decision...its very simple, our society makes it so complicated –

    July 5, 2013 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  51. Time for a change...

    you cannot hangout with someone who is a downer 24 hours a day 7 days a week....it takes a toll you on the person mentally, the other party just plugs along and still does whatever it wants. it is the person who is suffering that has too make a change. the other one will still do whatever it wants...they will shut the hurting party for 1 hr and then it starts all over again.....Matt made the change and his fans are so happy for him. he has sufferered enough already. want too much talking with no end results...Matt finally took a stand and he's ready too begin a new life...good for him

    July 5, 2013 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  52. Helping someone who is hurting---

    From all the information I have read on this man...he has suffered for a very long time. he's only 43 and why does have so much pain inside. we have too listen too people when they are hurting not yes them to death and just tell them everything is going too be fine....people who hurt don't want too hear that. they don't want too hear everything will be ok, or everything is fine do not worry.....in their eyes nothing is fine or dandy and we need too be considerate of others who suffer not blow them off and tell them everything is going work out ......our job is not too make the decisions for them but too encourage them too have the strength too make their decision...its very simple, our society makes it so complicated –

    July 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Oh boo hoo. Stop feeding their negative attention cravings. That is exactly the kind of thing they want to see. He is normal and maybe because he wasn't so successful after friends, he needed this melodrama to snag a front cover of a mag. Im sure his alcoholism wasn't THAT bad if he was able to hold down a job for 10 years.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Thank the lord Matt finally realized his life was not working and made the change...

      00

      July 5, 2013 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
    • It thinks we are talking about alcohol....can you imagine

      July 5, 2013 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  53. Extensions50

    The man has been crying out for years, he said he felt like nobody was listening too him...its awful too feel that way.
    It can hurt the soul and one begins too lose confidence, self esteem and the depression begins too kick in. They being too decrease communication as if too say "why bother"... Matt overcame that as many in life have too realize they can overcome their problems. It is a matter of what has too be done to be happy.

    July 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  54. MyCableHunk

    Mathew Perry is one of a kind he is able too overcome his problems and finally can move forward...no fear anymore.

    July 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  55. MattFan

    I am able too communicate my feelings I just need a push with certain people and then I never shut up.

    July 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  56. i still have the yummies for Matt Perry

    hee hee.

    July 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Monica/Chandler Affair...

    has too be one the most hysterical affairs on television – if you have a chance too ever catch those shows please do.
    I laugh every single time those shows are on...it was the craziest nutty fun affair between 2 people I have ever seen.

    All the best, you'll be fine...luv-chandler fan.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  58. My Sweet Zero's.

    Your "fans" will always be there for you no matter what. it is important we keep matt up and refreshed at all times.
    His personal life has had tough times...all the best dear because you deserve it.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Looks like you ARE his only fan, as if we wouldnt see your IP address is the same for EVERY one odf those supportive messages. Unless theres a line of chandler fans at an Internet Cafe somewhere (which I doubt very much) YOU are the 20 posts of support on here. Noone else really cares about this washed up B grade actor.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
    • JGN

      MAP, you are the actual loser in these comments. Matt Perry and his character Chandler have many many fans. It was a great sitcom and he was one of the highlights along with Lisa Kudrow; their comedic timing is exquisite. They were all perfect for their parts and obviously the show would not have had an amazing 10 year run with no fan base, S for B.

      July 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • I loved the affair between chandler and monica...hysterical

      -

      July 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Bouncing Jellies...

    This guy has had A rough life and I pray to God he will finally get the break he deserves and move on with his career and have only joy in his life...i'm a hard Mathew fan for life.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  60. TheNipTwins

    Ladies let's it ladies Perry is a night howl for us.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  61. RubyRed

    Mathew my darling...be well and don't let people manipulate happiness and true, real love. Have great s-x
    with a lovely woman and enjoy everything you deserve in life.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  62. BigKnocks.

    I am so happy for Mathew and finally he is making the right choices for happiness. its the best thing...he is way too cute too waste it on being miserable and depressed all the time. His self confidence has not been good for a long time he needed too begin a new life.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  63. The Package

    Anytime Mathew Perry the tv station I get very excited too see him–he is a very good actor and holds himself up as much as possible.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Chandler and Joey

    my 2 favorite characters in the show, i thought they were hysterical in their roles on friends...i hear they may reunite again. best of luck too chandler and his new life ahead.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  65. PrettyGoodStuff

    With the love of God he was able too get his "life" back. being used is the worst thing anyone can go through in life.
    he had a rough relationship and now he's clear of everything and can finally begin a new life. He is still young enough too do it and he's still hot.

    July 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Who do you think you're fooliong posting 10 messages 1 minute apart from each other, with new usernames, all saying the same thing pretty much. You don't convince anyone that Perry has a huge fan base. He is selfish and wasn't worthy of the airtime he took on Friends.

      July 5, 2013 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  66. mattfan

    i support him 100% and hope he finally can battle his personal demons so he can move on and finally be happy.

    July 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Time for Matt too finally be happy--

    agreed, the man has been through heck and back and he deserves some happiness. he's only 43 and there is still time for some emotional and healthy happiness. he deserves it he's way over due.

    July 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Moving Forward

    Matt has had a rough personal life and now he's moving forward to fix it...i can respect that it is very hard too move forward .

    July 4, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Rubies

    He looks like he's lost some weight, he is much more attractive now then before...not sure what it is.

    July 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Chandler

    was my favorite character I adore him...he's funny, witty and most of attractive...I'd love too fool around with the sob.

    July 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Cope dear...lust is a dreadful thing to have...

    -

    July 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  72. MLT

    just laugh at her please....

    July 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  73. I like Chandler---the 3 will have too cope.

    -

    July 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  74. M.A.P. is a man to: your drinking would decrease actually.

    July 4, 2013 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  75. M.A.P.

    I would have to drink everyday if i wirked on that show.

    July 4, 2013 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
  76. THERE IS 7G'S BETWEEN BOTH ACCOUNTS...SHE'S A POS-

    -

    July 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Sandy

    Way to go!!! Best of luck with the journey:)

    July 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Martina

    We wish him all the best...Chandler was my favorite on Friends!

    July 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Maximus

    Good for him! I wish him the best with sobriety. No easy trek there.

    July 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  80. "The one where Chandler was an addict"

    My favorite 'Friends' episode.

    July 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |

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