Nearly a year before his unexpected death, Matthew Perry spoke about how he wanted to focus on helping others who have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction like he did.
During a November 1, 2022 appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher, Perry stated he had never tried to end his life while struggling with his drug addiction. “I never tried, but I did so many drugs at certain times that I knew that it could kill me,” he explained. “But I would do it, but I never wanted to die.”
While speaking about writing his 2022 memoir Friends, Loves and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew Perry noted that it took a great deal of time to work through his battle with addiction. “The real thing for me and the trouble I’ve had is that reality is an acquired taste. I have had a great deal of problems acquiring it. It wasn’t until I became really safe in my sobriety and really strong in my sobriety – and to tell you the truth, I am resilient, I am strong.”
The Friends star went on to share that his struggles with opioid abuse led to him having a seven-hour emergency surgery. His colon burst after years of pill addiction. The doctors told the late actor’s family that he only had a 2% chance of surviving. “Opiates cause constipation,” Perry explained. “It’s kind of poetic. I was so full of s— it almost killed me.”
After his surgery, Matthew Perry spent approximately five months in the hospital. During that time, he was in a coma for two weeks and required a colostomy bag for nine months after.
Matthew Perry Revealed His Addiction Led to 14 Surgeries on His Stomach
Along with the near-death experience in 2018, Matthew Perry told People in October 2022 he had a total of 14 surgeries on his stomach. “That’s a lot of reminders to stay sober,” he said about the surgeries. “All I have to do is look down.”
Perry also spoke about how his therapist helped him overcome his drug addiction by making him focus on his health struggles. “My therapist said, ‘The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,” he said. “And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore.”
Perry went on to reflect on how lucky he was to survive his 2018 hospitalization. “There were five people put on an ECMO machine that night and the other four died and I survived. So the big question is why? Why was I the one? There has to be some kind of reason.”
Perry passed away on October 28th. He was 54 years old.
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