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Matthew Perry's Struggles & Triumphs: A Life Remembered

Matthew Perry confessed his dependency on opiates and alcohol began to take root in his early twenties when he soared to stardom with Friends

Matthew Perry
Picture: Friends / ABC

Friends actor Matthew Perry has passed away in a tragic incident, just months after his courageous revelation of his tumultuous life in a revealing memoir. The 54-year-old actor candidly shared his ongoing struggle with addiction, specifically his battles with drugs and alcohol, which encompassed 15 visits to rehabilitation centers and an astonishing $9 million expenditure in his quest for sobriety.

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TMZ reported that emergency responders were summoned to his residence in response to a reported cardiac arrest. Regrettably, the star was discovered lifeless in his jacuzzi, the victim of an apparent drowning accident, with reports confirming the absence of any drugs at the scene.

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Matthew Perry, Beloved 'Friends' Star, Dies at 54

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Picture: Friends

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In his memoir, titled "Friends, Lovers, And The Big Terrible Thing," which was released in November of the previous year, Matthew Perry bared his soul about previous close encounters with mortality. In 2018, his loved ones were delivered the grim prognosis of a mere two percent chance of survival after his colon ruptured due to opioid misuse. Subsequently, the actor fell into a coma for a harrowing two weeks and required the placement of a colostomy bag, which he was compelled to utilize for the following nine months.

Two years later, the actor teetered on the precipice of death once more during a stay at a rehabilitation facility in Switzerland, all due to his unrelenting struggle with opioid addiction. Doctors administered a sedative that inadvertently interacted with the opioids in his system, triggering cardiac arrest. The Chandler Bing actor narrowly escaped demise as medical professionals embarked on a valiant effort to resuscitate him, resulting in the fracturing of eight of his ribs.

Matthew Perry confessed that his dependency on opiates and alcohol began to take root in his early twenties when he soared to stardom with Friends. A skiing accident at the age of 27 marked the commencement of his addiction to Vicodin, which had initially been prescribed for pain relief. At the pinnacle of his Friends fame, Matthew was commanding a staggering $1 million per episode, but as he grappled with his inner demons, he squandered an exorbitant $9 million on his quest for sobriety.

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Throughout his lifetime, Matthew conceded to attending roughly 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, enduring 15 stints in rehab, and undergoing a dozen life-saving surgeries.

Friends

Picture: Friends

During the promotion of his book, he laid bare his harrowing experiences with alcoholism to Diane Sawyer, revealing a time when he consumed a liter of vodka daily. He recounted how his fellow castmate Jennifer Aniston, growing increasingly concerned, attempted to intervene.

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"At the time I should have been the toast of the town, I was in a dark room meeting nothing but drug dealers and completely alone," he recounted to Diane. Matthew recalled Jennifer's brave confrontation on the set of Friends, where she confronted him with the candid statement that she and the rest of the cast "know you're drinking. It was an incredibly frightening moment."

Matthew Perry affectionately acknowledged his Friends cast members for their unwavering support during his arduous journey to sobriety, characterizing them as "understanding and patient."

He shared with ABC, "'It's like penguins. When one is sick, the other penguins surround it and prop it up until that penguin can walk on its own. That's kind of what the cast did for me.'"

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