Matthew Perry Foundation Tackles Addiction After ‘Friends’ Star’s Death

The actor became a hero to many for his years of work on recovery initiatives and his candor about his own struggles with drugs and alcohol

November 3, 2023
Matthew Perry advocating for drug courts

Matthew Perry wanted to be remembered for helping others even more than for his acting roles. Now, after the “Friends” star’s tragic death on Oct. 28, the Matthew Perry Foundation established in his name will help cement that legacy by continuing his work to help people overcome addiction.

A single-page website for the foundation was launched Friday morning, stating that the organization’s mission would be “the realization of Matthew’s enduring commitment to helping others struggling with the disease of addiction. It will honor his legacy, and be guided by his own words and experiences and driven by his passion for making a difference in as many lives as possible.”

The foundation is maintained through the National Philanthropic Trust and donations can be made via the website. Although no specific initiatives have been announced yet, Perry’s team is behind the foundation and is determined to launch projects as soon as possible, TMZ has reported. The actor himself was in the initial stages of creating such a foundation during the months before his death.

In his 2022 memoir “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing” and interviews, Perry recounted that he became addicted to Vicodin after a jet ski accident in 1997, went to rehab 15 times during his struggles with alcohol and opioids, and had spent two weeks in a coma in 2018. Even as he fought his own addiction, he established the Perry House, a sober living facility that operated until 2015, and lobbied Congress in support of funding for drug courts.

Perry’s autopsy reports were inconclusive, but initial tests were negative for fentanyl and methamphetamines. Friends said the actor was in good spirits, and he was photographed playing pickleball shortly before he died.

In an interview last year to promote his book, Perry said he didn’t want others to suffer through addiction in the same way he did.

“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned — I want helping others to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” Perry said on the Q With Tom Power podcast. “I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that. Addiction is far too powerful for anyone to defeat alone. But together, one day at a time, we can beat it down.”

Visit matthewperryfoundation.org to learn more.

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