Matthew Perry Spills More on the 'Big Terrible Thing'

'Friends' actor's book is out, and he goes into more detail on the substance abuse that nearly killed him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2022 6:45 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2022 7:03 AM CDT
Matthew Perry Spills More on the 'Big Terrible Thing'
Matthew Perry arrives at the premiere of "The Invention of Lying" in Los Angeles on Sept. 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Excerpts had leaked in advance of Matthew Perry's book, and he'd openly mentioned in interviews that he'd be talking about his drug and alcohol addiction in it. Now, after the Tuesday release of Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, more on the Friends star's extensive substance abuse issues over the years have come to light. Perry had previously noted his opioid addiction was so bad that, four years ago, his colon had burst from using too much OxyContin, sending him into a coma for two weeks. In the memoir, the 53-year-old notes that he had to rerecord most of his lines for the 2002 movie Serving Sara, as his addiction was causing him to slur words, and that he was even doped up when he proposed to ex Molly Hurwitz in November 2020, per People.

"I bought her a ring because I was desperate that she would leave me," he writes, noting he was "high on 1,800 milligrams of hydrocodone." He adds, per USA Today: "And she knew it, too." Perry also delves more into his alcohol abuse, which got its start when he had his first sip at age 14. Things deteriorated in high school, when he caught the acting bug. "Acting was another one of my drugs," Perry writes. "And it didn't do the damage that alcohol was already starting to do. In fact, it was getting harder and harder to wake up after a night of drinking." Today, Perry says he's 18 months sober, and part of the reason he wanted to write his book was to help others.

NBC News notes the hard journey that beating addiction is, and that Perry isn't alone in his "one step forward, two steps back" progress (he's previously said he's been to rehab 15 times). But the outlet also offers encouragement to those who are fighting addiction, noting that 75% of those who try to break the cycle eventually do. And those repeated efforts are key—meaning one shouldn't be ashamed or discouraged if it takes multiple stints in rehab, like Perry, to do so. "Addiction, the big terrible thing, is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone," he writes. "But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down." People has many more highlights from his book here. Meanwhile, more here on why addiction is often so difficult to overcome; if you or someone you know needs help, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline at 1-800-662-4357. (Read more Matthew Perry stories.)

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