The guy we know and love as Chandler Bing has a new accomplishment that trumps his time in the Hollywood limelight. Matthew Perry’s passion for digging people out of the pit of addiction is now the most important item on his agenda:
“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life and a lot of wonderful accolades. But the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, ‘Will you help me stop drinking?’ I will say, ‘Yes. I know how to do that.'”
Perry’s recent candidness on his personal struggle with painkillers and alcohol abuse has given the former Friends star a platform to use his fame for good.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), painkiller abuse in the U.S. has been rapidly on the rise, with prescriptions rising by 400% over the last 16 years. Interestingly, Americans haven’t reported any more physical pain in this timeframe, which is indicative of a deeper emotional pain that many of these people are trying to suppress.
Though painkiller abuse often seems to pale in comparison to problems stemming from hard, addictive drugs, the CDC shockingly reported in 2011 that painkillers kill more Americans than cocaine and heroin combined.
This explains why Perry is particularly passionate about exposing his own demons in a way that helps others.
He asserts that selflessness has been his number one key to sobriety. As he fights for his own freedom, Perry finds nothing more powerful than championing for the freedom of others alongside him and reaching outside the confines of his own mind:
“The most important thing [in battling addiction] is always to get outside of your head and help another person.”
Perry openly admits that addicts have to go through a great deal of hard work, even after treatment center care—but he’s living proof that the fight is worth it and certainly can be won.