Matthew Perry Says He Spent $9 Million to Get Sober Amid Addiction Battle

Matthew Perry shared how much he spent trying to get sober amid his addiction battle, which resulted in multiple visits to rehab facilities and stomach surgeries.

By Angie Orellana Hernandez Oct 24, 2022 10:20 PMTags
Watch: Matthew Perry Reveals He Spent $9 Million to Get Sober

Matthew Perry is sharing more about the cost of his addiction battle.

The Friends actor, in an interview with The New York Times published Oct. 23, said by the time he was 49 years old, he had spent a large part of his life in rehab facilities, estimating, "I've probably spent $9 million or something trying to get sober."

Perry—whose memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing recounts his decades long struggle with addiction—shared his early forays with substances, from drinking Budweiser and Andrès Baby Duck wine at 14 years old before expanding to Vodka and drugs like Vicodin, Xanax and OxyContin as he got older.

"I would fake back injuries. I would fake migraine headaches. I had eight doctors going at the same time," Perry noted. "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. And then I go to this place, and I'm going to take five because I'm going to be there longer. It's exhausting but you have to do it or you get very, very sick."

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He added, "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."

The Fools Rush In actor also explained that while most people who experience substance abuse have "the gift of anonymity," his level of fame meant his struggles were widely circulated. In his book, Perry shares raw insight to his public battle—which includes his period of time on life support following a 2018 medical incident and his Friends co-stars telling him they realized he had been drinking again.

The actor, now 53, has been sober for 18 months and wants to help others experiencing similar battles.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

"It's still a day-to-day process of getting better. Every day," he said. "It doesn't end because I did this."

To reach others, Perry is getting comfortable with sharing private details about his own journey.

"Whenever I bumped into something that I didn't really want to share," he added, "I would think of the people that I would be helping, and it would keep me going."

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