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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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