The iconic TV actor sat down with NBC News Monday to talk about the beloved Glee star's passing, his own struggles with addiction, and the troubling national scale of drug and alcohol addiction
"When something like this happens, it's so sad and tragic... it's just sad and tragic," Perry said in reference to Monteith's death. "The upside of it, I can't even talk about because there is no upside to this man losing his life."
Perry was in town to speak at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP)'s national conference in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.
The 43-year-old, who recently appeared on the cover of People magazine talking about his struggle with drugs and alcohol, noted that while addiction is a nationwide epidemic, Hollywood stars often wait too long before realizing they need help.
"Fame does one thing that really hurts alcoholics," the former Friends star explained, "which is it makes them feel, if they buy into the press, it makes them feel that they're different. And that's something that we can't have."
Monteith was found dead on Saturday in a Vancouver hotel room, after failing to check out at his scheduled time. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, and toxicology results are expected within the next two to three days, according to Vancouver police, who say they are "fast-tracking" the investigation. Until then, no cause of death has been confirmed. Authorities have said there were no signs of foul play, and Monteith returned to his hotel room by himself very early Saturday morning.
Monteith, who appeared as Glee's Finn Hudson for four seasons, and who dated co-star Lea Michele, had been open about his own struggles with addiction, admitting that he started using drugs at age 13 and went to rehab at age 19.
In March, he took a short leave from Glee in order to complete a monthlong stint at Betty Ford in Los Angeles.
"Cory Monteith has voluntarily admitted himself into a treatment facility for substance addiction," his rep said at the time. "He graciously asks for your respect and privacy as he takes the necessary steps towards recovery."
Perry has entered rehab twice, in 1997 and again in 2001, for addiction to drugs and alcohol.