What Can Matthew Perry Teach Us About Alcoholism and Addiction?

On October 28, 2023, actor Matthew Perry, best known as Chandler from the sitcom ‘Friends’, passed away at the age of 54. While a drug overdose was not the cause of his untimely passing, Perry’s longtime battle with alcoholism and addiction has been a relevant topic of conversation in the wake of his death. 

What can we learn about alcoholism and addiction from celebrities like Matthew Perry? This is the question we will answer in this article for Cottonwood Tucson. 

Celebrities Prove Alcoholism and Addiction Do Not Discriminate

Perhaps the most pertinent takeaway from this when a celebrity with addiction like Matthew Perry passes away is that addiction is an illness that does not discriminate. What we mean by that is, that it makes no difference how accomplished you are professionally or how kind or gentle of a person you are. It doesn’t matter how clever or intelligent you are or how much material wealth you possess. 

None of these things provide much, if any, protection from substance use disorders. We say this not to make you feel vulnerable, but to emphasize the fact that addiction is treatable and recovery is for everyone. We all face different challenges, but when it comes to addiction, the solution is the same. The cathartic experience, the psychic transformation that only recovery can produce. 

Why Matthew Perry’s Death And Other Celebrity Deaths Matter

When a celebrity like Matthew Perry dies, many of us feel emotionally affected by the loss. Even though we may not have known them personally, it can feel like we had a relationship with them in a sense. Millions of Americans invited the cast of Friends into their dens and living rooms every Thursday evening through the mid-90s. Celebrity addiction is an especially poignant reminder that our heroes and people we admire are no more invulnerable to life’s challenges than we are. 

Celebrity deaths, especially those in proximity to addiction, matter because we can take something more than sorrow and nostalgia away from them. In an interview with Tom Power, Matthew Perry was asked how he would like us to remember him. He said, “I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker and his paramount thing is that he wants to help people, that’s what I want,”. The message there is a simple, but profound one. Of all the things Matthew Perry did in his life, his recovery was the most important one to him. He wanted to be remembered as someone who sought truth and wanted to help people. 

What Matthew Perry and Other Celebrities With Addiction Can Teach Us

The takeaway, in our view, is that while celebrities are just as vulnerable to the pitfalls of addiction as the rest of us – they also recover like the rest of us. Celebrities with addiction can serve as a powerful reminder for us all of just how high the stakes are in recovery. Whether it’s a celebrity who ultimately succumbed to their addiction like ‘Euphoria’ star, Angus Cloud, or a celebrity who died while in recovery like Matthew Perry, the lesson is that recovery is a lifestyle and a process that continues for life. 

Recovery isn’t a single decision not to pick up. It’s a continuous stream of decisions that we make every day. The more right decisions we make, the better our choices, the further we move into the light and away from the despair of addiction. 

Recovery is much more than just maintaining sobriety. 

Recovery is:

  • A lifestyle and a process that continues for life. 
  • A mindset and a way of thinking and seeing the world.
  • An opportunity to continuously improve oneself and grow.
  • A vehicle to bring yourself closer to your Higher Power. 
  • A pathway toward finding purpose and meaning in your life. 

Cottonwood Tucson: An Oasis of Wellness in the Desert Southwest

Cottonwood Tucson has been the southwest’s premier mental health treatment center for over 25 years. If you or someone you love is living with a substance use disorder or mental health challenge, Cottonwood Tucson has solutions. You and your loved ones deserve the very best care available and that is what you will find at Cottonwood Tucson.
The Cottonwood Tucson campus sits on 35 beautiful acres in the Sonoran Desert foothills. If you or someone you love could benefit from the exceptional evidence-based treatment that made Cottonwood famous, reach out to us anytime, 24 hours a day at (888) 433-1069.

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