Matthew Perry, who recently passed away, struggled with his addiction to Vicodin after his 1997 jet ski accident.
“I’ll be there for you”- these words have long been sung along to the title sequence of one of the most watched and loved sitcoms, “Friends”. Its fandom has been grieving the recent loss of their beloved Chander Bing - actor Matthew Perry. As reported by TMZ, he passed away on Saturday at the age of 54 due to accidental drowning at his LA home. While the world of Monica Geller, Rachel Green, Phoebe Buffay, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing and Ross Geller is now missing one friend, their bond has and will forever remain strong. This is evident from the 2004 interview of Jennifer Aniston with Diane Sawyer where the actress broke down into tears while speaking about the struggles of helping Matthew Perry with his addiction.
When Sawyer asked Aniston what it was that Perry didn't know about himself but he needed to hear, she got teary-eyed and replied, “That he’s alright.” According to US Weekly, Matthew Perry struggled with his addiction to Vicodin ever since his 1997 jet ski accident. This eventually turned into alcohol abuse and led to his hospitalization in 2000 for alcohol-induced pancreatitis. Talking about his struggle with his addiction, Aniston said while wiping off her tears, “He struggled. We didn’t know. We weren’t equipped to deal with it. Nobody had ever dealt with that. And the idea of even losing him… he’s having a road. But he’s alright.”
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In a year-old interview with The New York Times, Matthew Perry bared his heart about his struggles with addiction and recovery. He revealed that he “probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober.” He also sincerely spoke about his battles in his memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” which was released last year. He mentioned that he spent $7 million on his 15 rehab facility admissions. Recollecting where and how it all began, Perry shared that it all started when he was just 14, with a harmless “Budweiser and Andrès Baby Duck wine.” From there, it moved on to vodka, Vicodin, Xanax and OxyContin. He credits the last substance, heroin, with “saving his life.”
He further revealed that he would fake injuries and headaches to get his “eight doctors going at the same time.” “I would wake up and have to get 55 Vicodin that day and figure out how to do it. When you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I go to this place and I need to take three,” he said. He further explained that it was “exhausting” but he felt compelled to do it, or else he would get “very very sick.” “I wasn’t doing it to feel high or to feel good. I certainly wasn’t a partyer; I just wanted to sit on my couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. That was heaven for me. It no longer is,” he explained.
Last year, in his interview with podcast host Tom Power, Perry expressed that he didn't want to be remembered for his role on “Friends” but rather for being able to help people who came up to him and said “I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?” He said, “When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that (his efforts to help addicts) to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.” While Matthew Perry did leave the world much too soon, the impact he left behind will linger on for decades to come. There was nobody like Perry and there never will be.