Matthew Perry has been open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, but goes much deeper in his new memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” which is now available. Not only does the actor recount memories of his time on “Friends” — both sober and not — but he also details the many relapses he’s gone through.
After having his first drink at 14, by 18, Perrry was drinking consistently. After Season 2 of “Friends,” Perry traveled to Las Vegas to film “When Fools Rush In”: There, he had a jet ski accident that led to him being prescribed Vicodin, which was the start of his addiction to pills.
At one point, as Perry shares in his book, he was taking 55 Vicodin a day, and had to try various ploys in order to get them. He’d fake migraines or other pain, and sit through MRIs with different doctors. On Sundays, he’d go to open houses and search the medicine cabinets of different homes for any pills he could find.
In 2018, his colon exploded and he was in a coma for two weeks, while his family was told he had a 2% chance to live. He was put on an ECMO machine, along with four others in the hospital; the other four did not survive. He then lived with a colostomy bag for nine months.
Through the years, Perry says he’s attended 6,000 AA meetings, gone to rehab 15 times, been in detox 65 times, has been on life support and has spent between $7-$9 million trying to get sober. He’s had 14 surgeries — his last in January 2022 which left him with a six-inch incision with metal staples.
During COVID, he was at a rehab center in Switzerland and faked pain to get 1,800 milligrams of Oxycontin a day and was having daily ketamine infusions. He then had to get surgery while there and was given a shot of propofol. He woke up 11 hours later in a different hospital and was told that the propofol had stopped his heart for five minutes. The long CPR process also broke eight of his ribs and the doctor refused more meds.
When he left Switzerland, he was told he’d still get the 1,800 milligrams at an L.A. hospital. He paid $175,000 to fly in a private jet home and was told no — the doctor informed him that cancer patients are given 100 mgs. So, he booked another $175,000 private flight that same night back to Switzerland.
This was simply one of his near-death experiences Perry recalled in the book, while also opening up about his personal family relationships, friendships, romances and set experiences. Scroll down for more: