Matthew Perry Says He Almost Died After Opioid Addiction Caused Colon to Burst

In a new interview, 'Friends' star Matthew Perry revealed that he almost died after his colon burst due to his battle with opioid addiction.

Matthew Perry attends Build Series in 2017

Image via Getty/Mike Pont

Matthew Perry attends Build Series in 2017

Matthew Perry has opened up about his battle with opioid addiction and how it almost left him dead.

The 53-year-old Friends star spoke with People magazine about his recovery, and revealed that he suffered from a burst colon that left him with a 2 percent chance of survival at one point. “The doctors told my family that I had a 2 percent chance to live,” he said of his struggles, which peaked when he was admitted to the hospital at age 49. "I was put on a thing called an ECMO machine, which does all the breathing for your heart and your lungs. And that's called a Hail Mary. No one survives that."

Perry is set to release his autobiography, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, on Nov. 1. In the book, which he noted he waited until he was “pretty safely sober” before writing, Perry directly addresses his fight against “the active disease of alcoholism and addiction.” 

At one particularly rough point during the filming of Friends, he said he was taking up to 55 Vicodin a day and weighed just 128 pounds. "I didn't know how to stop," he said. "If the police came over to my house and said, 'If you drink tonight, we're going to take you to jail,' I'd start packing. I couldn't stop because the disease and the addiction is progressive. So it gets worse and worse as you grow older."

Perry attempted to hide his struggles from his Friends castmates, but it became hard to ignore due to the sudden changes in his appearance each season. However, he said they were “understanding” and “patient” with him, and did a lot to support him. Perry has relapsed many times throughout his life, and has been to rehab a total of 15 times, but he’s feeling “pretty healthy now.” 

While he chose not to disclose how long he’s been sober, Perry did note that he’s had 14 surgeries on his stomach, which serve as “a lot of reminders to stay sober.” His therapist also helped him fight the urge to take Oxycontin, he added. "My therapist said, 'The next time you think about taking Oxycontin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life,'" Perry said. "And a little window opened and I crawled through it and I no longer want Oxycontin anymore."

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