The Matthew Perry Foundation was unveiled today as “the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction.” Perry established a sober living house that operated between 2013 and 2015.
The foundation will also “honor his legacy and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible.”
In his 2022 memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir,” Perry wrote, “I’m still working through it personally, but the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic or drug addict comes up to me and says, ‘Will you help me?’ I will always say, ‘Yes, I know how to do that. I will do that for you, even if I can’t always do it for myself.’”
Highly regarded as a “brilliant talent” and unique comedic performer, Perry was also open about his struggle with substance abuse. His addiction to opioids dated back to 1997 when he was prescribed Vicodin while he recovered from a jet ski accident.
He later told People, “I had a big problem with alcohol and pills and I couldn’t stop. Eventually things got so bad that I couldn’t hide it, and then everybody knew.”
The actor almost died at age 49 after his colon burst from opioid use. Perry spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital. After his release, he used a colostomy bag for nine months.
He also told the outlet that his alcohol addiction was just beginning when he was cast on “Friends” at age 24. “But there were years that I was sober during that time,” he said.
Perry added, “Season 9 was the year that I was sober the whole way through. And guess which season I got nominated for best actor? I was like, ‘That should tell me something.’”