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July 26th, 2013
06:32 PM ET

Matthew Perry: "The fact that I never tried heroin is the only reason I'm able to sit here"

Coming up Friday at 9, comedic actor Matthew Perry will put his serious side on display, as he takes over as "Piers Morgan Live" guest host, opening up about struggles with alcohol and drugs.

As a recovering addict, Perry understands how hard the journey to sobriety can be, especially while under the scrutiny of the public eye. But Cory Monteith’s passing serves as a reminder that not all are fortunate enough to overcome addiction.

Welcoming Dr. David Sack, Perry looks to shed light on how this recent tragedy could have been avoided, while also inquiring as to what can be done to prevent others from succumbing to a similar fate:

"The fact that I never tried heroin, is the only reason I'm able to sit here. I'm positive. If I had tried that, I would not be around," Perry reveals to the CEO of Promises Treatment Center. “When I was in high school, there was pot in our lockers and now there’s heroin.”

While Sack suggests that the heroin itself isn't the biggest concern, he is worried about drugs within a similar class:

"The real epidemic is in prescription opiates, which belong to the same general category as heroin,” says Dr. Sack. "The increase in overdose deaths is directly related to doctors prescribing and overprescribing pain medications to people with drug and alcohol problems who then go on to become addicted.”

Having addressed the underlying issue, Sack feels that the next step is to find ways to address it both on a general and personal level.

Watch the clip for more of Perry's conversation with Sack, and tune to CNN at 9 to find out about the guest host's recent work with drug courts and the valuable alternative they provide to the penal system.
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Filed under: Guest Host Week
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Claes

    Is the show by any chance available on the web? / An across-the-atlantic fan of Matthew.

    July 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • john daly

      yes go to and

      July 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jhenehan

    Matthew, which of the original RAT PACK guys would you be?

    July 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Dawg

    Great show tonight!

    July 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bonita

    Matthew Perry is inspirational. He needs his own show, CNN!!!!!!

    July 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jbrown

    Great Show – he needs this time slot.

    July 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Namejrigets

    Great show. Matt was refreshing change. Might tune in more often.

    July 26, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. john

    I caught mathew's show by accident,I'm glad I did.He brought comedy and serious news together somehow.I thought the show was brilliant,I hope cnn realizes what they have and hire him as fast as they can.I saw a side of mathew I never knew exsisted. John

    July 27, 2013 at 2:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lindsay Graham

    Programs? Money?
    It sounds like you have to be an offender to get treatment.

    You also ASSUME the BIG BOOK and 12 steps.
    A shallow and disappointing approach to addiction.
    Are you kidding?
    I'm sure that you, Matthew Perry have a much more compelling and realistic story to tell to addicts.

    You fell flat and I think you know it.

    July 27, 2013 at 3:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. James

    Cory Monteith's overdose death should be call to action for celebrities to raise awareness about ways to prevent overdose, and especially high risks post-rehab. This is a bad enough problem with us normal people. There thousands more that die every from than than Cory Monteith or Heath Ledger, etc... via HuffPost

    July 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sober_ed

      The thing is,James, is that celebrities have a hard time with the unmanageability of their life because of the fame and adoration they receive from their fans, and those around them. I have been trying to become a sober companion and recovery coach for over two years and not one person who could use my help has taken me up on it. i have tried to get in touch with the Musician's Union ( before Whitney Houston's death) and SAG ( Screen Actors Guild), and they haven't even let me do a presentation to see what I have to offer ( 21+years of sobriety and a Bachelors in Clinical Psychology).No one cares until there is a high profile death, it's just the way it is.

      July 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • nvgramms

        That is sad – however before you can help them they have to OWN the addiction and WANT to kick it – so hang in there – someone will want your help / knowledge.

        July 31, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sharon G

    – Good Job Matthew Perry – first time in a while that I have sat thru and enjoyed the entire Piers Morgan show !!!!!

    July 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Maria

    I congratulate Mr Perry on his recovery and wish him one day at a time the rest of his life. I emailed Perryshouse to inquire about the sober living facility for a family member and was disappointed beyond belief. $12,000 per month is not trying to help someone. That is using a famous name and a sad situation into a money making machine..I have nothing against making money, but don't use recovering addicts to do so..again, I wish Mr Perry a sober life as I know how addiction hurts and sometimes kills a person...

    July 29, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sober_ed

      $ 12,000 a month!?! There are EXCELLENT treatment centers that are cheaper than that ( Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage).

      July 31, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Recovery Channel

        I am trying to find Perryshouse on the web, can someone post a link? Thanks. JD

        August 1, 2013 at 5:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lord Toronaga

    Who has HEROIN in their school locker? Idiots mostly. Perry is an idiot for becoming addicted. Personally speaking I have a hard time agreeing to have tax payer money paying for anything addicts need. Let them die if they can't quit. Who cares ? Monteith ? Who ?

    July 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sober_ed

      Wow,Lord, do you have no empathy. I realize that people with substance abuse issues are not the most sympathetic demographic, but my God man. Would you say the same thing about someone with cancer, or any other disease they have no control over? I am a substance abuse counselor and it sounds to me like you had someone very close to you who had addiction challenges, and they let you down or hurt you in some way. Please let go of your anger and resentment, it only hurts yourself

      July 31, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. mike

    I love matthew ,his funny and interesting to watch.i gave my ex girlfriend all seasons of FRIENDS and for her, matthew was her favuorite.lisa kudrow its nice to see you guys again.LOVE YOU ALL

    August 2, 2013 at 7:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Scott Hanson

    Enjoyed Mr. Perry's show Inspirational. What are the telephone numbers, web sites, and other contact information that folks coul use to make contact. More should be done to help artists help artists with drug addiction. If only this was available to more folks that need help.

    August 2, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • john daly

      I too am trying to get that info... please forward..

      August 2, 2013 at 11:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maria Palmer

      You can google Perrys house, Malibu and they will respond. As I mentioned they charge $12,000 per month for sober me this is a huge racket and it offends me that he would use his name and his addiction to make money off other addicts..I'm surprised Mr. Morgan, being the Liberal that he is, did not ask him about cost. No middle class person can afford this place, nor get help from them. They did include a list of other sober living houses. These ranged in the $4,000 per month. I was checking for a family member, but there's no way they can afford this place. I guess more power to Mr. Perry if he can get the money. He's a good business man.

      August 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. john daly

    recovery houses range just like hotels, Motel 6 or the Ritz Carlton... I have seen them at twice being 30k a month. In this case its not about the money, it eliminates 90% of population which with this caliber of clientelle its a group of their peers. God Bless Matthew Perry if he saves one life it is worth it. You must remember Malibu is not low income. Quit with the judging and address reality. Some people spend 10 dollars for dinner other hundreds... Let it go...

    August 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sharon

    – John – you are correct – and God Bless Matthew Perry for at least trying to "give back" – or " pay forward" – at least he is not throwing the addicts in the trash and moving on !!!!! And perhaps down the road – he will be in a position to do some – discount programs

    August 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • john daly

      TY, there needs to be other options besides inhouse rehab as follow up and aftercare is more critical. Many relapse and die. I feel AA works for some people but not all, options would be great. I have heard so many times "If I drink or use again I will die" in the rooms, well guess what, they do as the humiliation of having to start over again and face the clique of members is too much. Addiction is an effect of a internal torment from within. Professional help is required to peel the onion. Sponsors are great but not qualified and some are too controlling. I have been working on an online project, RecoveryTV and The Recovery Channel which is a site where the "Matthew Perrys" can be interviewed and show that the stigma of "sobriety" is ok. Our society glorifies drugs and alcohol through entertainment whether a concert or sports, its time for these individuals to give a positive message. I am one man trying to make a difference to "pay it forward" too.

      August 3, 2013 at 3:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Staffan Nordstrand

    One more issue with often the film occurs together with Morgan Freemans’s loss of screen time creating his persona seem quite useless.
    Staffan Nordstrand

    January 21, 2014 at 10:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Hosting

    Chandler was written as a character who was awkward around women because Matthew Perry told producers that he himself was. The first time he ever got onto the cover of People magazine he sent it to one of his old teachers, Dr. Web, who said he would never amount to anything if he kept joking around all the time.

    June 14, 2017 at 2:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
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      I have and

      June 15, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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