Matthew Perry reveals he nearly died from opioid overuse four years ago: ‘I’m grateful to be alive’

Matthew Perry has opened up about his history with drug addiction and revealed he nearly died from opioid overuse four years ago.

The 53-year-old actor opened up about his latest memoir, Friends, lovers and the big terrible thing which focuses on his drug and alcohol abuse issues, during an interview with persons for the latest cover story of the publication.

Perry recounted how his memoir begins with his realization that he nearly died at the age of 49 when his colon ruptured from opioid overuse. He said he then spent two weeks in a coma, five months in a hospital and nine months with a colostomy bag.

Continuing to recall what happened when he was first admitted to the hospital, he explained: “Doctors told my family I had a two percent chance of survival. I was hooked up to what’s called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and lungs. And that’s called Ave Mary. Nobody survives that.”

That friends Star has also been open about his relapses, noting that he’s been to rehab over 15 times before poking fun at how he’s stayed healthy.

“I’m pretty healthy now. I don’t have to go to the gym much anymore because I don’t want to just be able to play superheroes,” he joked. “But no, I’m a pretty healthy guy at the moment.”

Although he chose not to share how long he’s been sober, he explained it even when someone “loses [their] sobriety,” they “don’t lose all the time and education” they’ve gained from it.

“Your sober date changes, but that’s all that changes,” Perry explained. “You know everything you knew before, as long as you could fight your way back without dying, you learn a lot.”

Perry noted that his book discusses other issues that he has concerns about for his own survival, which is something he hopes people struggling with drug addiction can relate to.

“I find [readers will] Be surprised at how bad it got at certain times and how close I was to death,” he explained. “I say in the book that it would shock people if I died, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone. And that’s a very scary thing to live with.

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“So I hope that people identify with it and know that this disease affects everyone. It doesn’t matter if you succeed or not, the disease doesn’t matter.”

He also gave a big thank you for his sobriety journey and what surprised him the most about it.

“I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the opportunity to do anything,” Perry said.

“What surprises me the most is my resilience. The way I can recover from all this torture and horror. I wanted to tell the story, even though it’s a bit scary to tell all your secrets in one book, I didn’t leave anything out. Everything is in there.”

Elsewhere in the interview, he described a difficult point in his life while playing the lead friends when he was 128 pounds and taking 55 Vicodin a day.

“I didn’t know how to quit,” he explained. “If the police came to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’ll take you to jail,’ I would start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and addiction are progressing. So it gets worse with age.”

However, he said his castmates on the sitcom were “understanding” and “patient” throughout his condition at the time.

“It’s like penguins. Penguins in the wild, when one is sick or very injured, the other penguins surround and support them,” Perry added. “They walk around it until the penguin can walk on its own. That’s what the cast did for me.” Matthew Perry reveals he nearly died from opioid overuse four years ago: ‘I’m grateful to be alive’

Fry Electronics Team

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