Matthew Perry says he drank a ‘whole bottle’ of wine at 14 and ‘drank every day’ at 18

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Matthew Perry says his path to addiction began in his teens when he drank an “entire bottle” of wine.

The 53-year-old Friends actor, speaking to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer on Friday, said he had “never drank before” before the experience at 14, which impacted him tremendously.

“I lay down on the grass and I was in heaven,” said Perry, who is promoting her new memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, which details her battle with addiction. “I thought to myself, ‘This must be the way normal people feel all the time.'”

Latest: Matthew Perry, 53, says his path to addiction began in his teens when he drank an 'entire bottle' of wine.  The Friends actor, speaking with ABC News' Diane Sawyer on Friday, said that

Latest: Matthew Perry, 53, says his path to addiction began in his teens when he drank an ‘entire bottle’ of wine. The Friends actor, speaking with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer on Friday, said he had “never drank before” before the experience at age 14, which impacted him tremendously.

The Williamstown, Massachusetts native added, “When I was 18, I was drinking every day.”

Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the NBC smash hit, told Sawyer that he started taking prescription painkillers in 1997 after a jet ski accident while filming the movie Fools Rush In.

‘I had to wake up and realize I needed to get 55 [Vicodin pills] or he was going to be very sick. A bunch of doctors, fake migraines,” he said. ‘I think the weirdest thing I did was on Sundays he would go to the open houses and go to the bathrooms at the open house and see what pills they had there and steal them.

“I think they thought, ‘Well, there’s no way Chandler could come in and rob us.'”

The actor detailed the beginnings of his battles with substance abuse in the interview.

The actor detailed the beginnings of his battles with substance abuse in the interview.

The Williamstown, Massachusetts native added:

The Williamstown, Massachusetts native added, “When I was 18, I was drinking every day.”

Perry spoke with Sawyer about her battle with addiction in the interview.

Perry spoke with Sawyer about her battle with addiction in the interview.

Sawyer asked Perry in the interview: ‘How do we know when you’re in trouble, when you’re not okay?’ to which Perry said: ‘If I say, ‘I’m going to chill home alone tonight’; and the second part, the other thing, is if I ever say, “I’m cured.”

Perry says the long battle with addiction has put him in therapy for 30 years; go to rehab 15 times; he attends some 6,000 AA meetings and survives 14 surgeries.

The actor told Sawyer that while he was entrenched in addiction during his years doing the show, he didn’t use substances while on the set of the NBC hit.

“I made a rule that I would never drink or drink anything at work,” Perry said. ‘So she would never do that, but she blindly showed up hungover. Like shaking. I loved Chandler, I loved the show. And I knew, “Remember this, because it’s going to be the time of your life.” And I knew he would never forgive me if I messed it up.

Perry says the long battle with addiction has put him in therapy for 30 years;  go to rehab 15 times;  attends over 6,000 AA meetings and survives 14 surgeries

Perry says the long battle with addiction has put him in therapy for 30 years; go to rehab 15 times; attends over 6,000 AA meetings and survives 14 surgeries

The actor told Sawyer that while he was entrenched in addiction during his years doing the show, he didn't use substances while on the set of the NBC hit.

The actor told Sawyer that while he was entrenched in addiction during his years doing the show, he didn’t use substances while on the set of the NBC hit.

This week, Perry is scheduled to embark on a speaking tour titled A Conversation With Matthew Perry.

‘Join me on my book launch tour this November!’ he told her on Instagram on September 23. ‘Tickets on sale now…hope to see you and share stories of FRIENDS, LOVERS AND THE GREAT, TERRIBLE THING.’

Perry has events scheduled for Nov. 2 at The Town Hall in New York City; on November 4 at Penn Medicine Princeton Health at Hyatt Regency Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey; November 6 at the Warner Theater in Washington, DC; and on November 10 at the Hot Docs Theater in Toronto.

Perry appeared in the Friends: The Reunion special in 2021 on HBO Max with co-stars Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Jennifer Aniston.

The book is scheduled to be released on November 1.

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