Matthew Perry wanted to open foundation to help people fight substance abuse, addiction

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | October 31, 2023 IST

Matthew Perry

Los Angeles, Oct 31: Popular ‘Friends’ actor Matthew Perry, who was known for his role as the humourous and wisecracking Chandler Bing, wanted to open a foundation to help people combat substance abuse and addiction, prior to his untimely death.

The actor who died at the age of 54, according to 'People' magazine, was making plans to establish a foundation to help those with addiction issues, a decade after he founded Perry House, a men’s sober living facility which ran for two years.

However, even after his death his wish hasn’t become wishful thinking as those close to the ’17 Again’ actor have decided to fulfill his wish, as a tribute to him.

Back in 2013, Perry told 'People' magazine about his abuse of alcohol and Vicodin, which a doctor had prescribed him after a 1997 jet ski accident.

He said: “I had a big problem with alcohol and pills and I couldn’t stop. Eventually things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew.”

One day though, something suddenly clicked with him, and after his epiphany he founded Perry House, a men’s sober living facility which ran from 2013 to 2015 in his old Malibu beach home.

“The interesting reason that I can be so helpful to people now is that I screwed up so often,” he said. “It’s nice for people to see that somebody who once struggled in their life is not struggling anymore.”

Back in 2015, Perry was honoured for his advocacy by the treatment center Phoenix House, telling 'The Hollywood Reporter', “You can’t have a drug problem for 30 years and then expect to have it be solved in 28 days.”

Ahead of the release of his memoir 'Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing' last year, Perry further detailed his own struggles and revealed that he almost died at 49 due to his escalating drug addiction. He said he spent two weeks in a coma fighting for his life, followed by a five-month hospital stay and a year using a colostomy bag, after his colon burst from opioid overuse.

When Perry was first admitted to the hospital, doctors told his family he had only a "2 percent 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," he recalled.

Since then, the actor had been to rehab 15 times as he was popping 55 Vicodin pills a day and had dropped to just 128 pounds. He told 'People': "I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side of everything again," he said.

"I had to wait until I was pretty safely sober — and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction — to write it all down. And the main thing was, I was pretty certain that it would help people."

(IANS)

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