Matthew Perry has come a long way since the late '90s. In a May 30 interview with ABC News, the 43-year-old actor opened up about his history of drug and alcohol abuse and explained how he's helping others facing similar issues.
When he was using, the actor said his biggest vices were drinking and opiates. "I think I was pretty good at hiding it, but eventually people were aware," Perry said of trying to hide his problems from his Friends costars and crew members.
Perry realized he needed to sober up and entered a 28-day rehabilitation program in 1997 for a Vicodin addiction. He also worked with addiction specialist Earl Hightower. "This guy has saved my life, literally 15, 16 times," the actor said of Hightower. "The treatment is all-encompassing."
The Massachusetts sought treatment again in February 2001 to address his addictions to Vicodin, methadone, amphetamines and alcohol. Perry can't bear to look at photos of himself from that time. "I honestly recoil. It's scary to look at that," he said. "I was a sick guy."
Now sober, Perry is doing everything possible to pay it forward; he's even opened a sober living house to help men transition from rehab into the real world. Said the star, "The thing that I'm most proud of in my life is that if a stranger came up to me and said, 'I can't stop drinking. I can't stop drinking. Can you help me?' I can say, 'Yes, I can help you.'"
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Matthew Perry Talks About Past Drug, Alcohol Abuse: "I Was a Sick Guy"