Matthew Perry Argues About Addiction, Not Ready to Make Friends

He’s known for his lighthearted character on Friends, but Matthew Perry is not afraid to speak up about issues that matter to him.

As a guest on BBC’s Newsnight this week, Perry spoke with Peter Hitchens, an anti-drugs campaigner and author. The two discussed drug addiction, drug abuse-related crimes and punishment.

The discussion heated up when Hitchens called addiction a “fantasy,” striking a personal chord with Perry. The actor’s personal experience with drug and alcohol addiction is well-known and publicized. Perry’s struggle with drug and alcohol abuse began when he was 13 and escalated through his acting career.

Since getting clean, Perry is using his past experiences to reform the way drug offenses are handled in the legal system. Perry advocates a system of “drug courts,” which emphasizes rehabilitation rather than traditional charges and sentencing.

Perry claims that offenders are 55% less likely to be sent back through the legal system after participating in drug courts.

However, not everyone is on board with Perry’s idea. Hitchens said, “The policy which you so smugly and loftily advocate has led to disaster in Western countries for decades.”

Hitchens argued for harsher punishment for drug abuse and drug-related crime. In response to Perry’s points, he claimed that addiction is a “fantasy” and should not be considered a disease.

Perry’s passion on the issue of drug abuse and addiction was clear. He called out his own experience with drug addiction, noting that he is a prime example of the harsh realities of substance addiction.

We applaud Perry for his bold steps in supporting addicts. He’s transformed his former Malibu home into a residence for men trying to overcome alcoholism. Earlier this year he appeared before Congress to support local drug courts. These efforts, among other honors and campaigns, show that Perry is working to bring about change.

Perry’s taking one approach to supporting those who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. We’re here to offer drug and alcohol testing, often a necessary step in rehabilitation. If you’re in need of drug or alcohol testing, contact one of Test Smartly Labs’ national locations.

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9 Comments to “Matthew Perry Argues About Addiction, Not Ready to Make Friends”

  1. Dave Dennis 26 December 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I think Mr. Perry probably understands addiction more than someone who hasn’t dealt with it at all. They may not agree with how to handle the situation, but at least they can compromise and come to understand that there are many people out there that do need help.

  2. Catherine Sadler 26 December 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    There is truly no right or wrong approach to addiction. There are many different solutions, that many people can cling to.

  3. Danny Campbell 26 December 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Addiction effects a lot of people around the world, and there are many ways to cope with it. There is no right or wrong way.

  4. Eli Akins 26 December 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Addiction is a disease that can sneak up on even the strongest of people. It takes dedication support, and tons of persistence. Perry brought up some great points about the judicial system, but it’s going to take lots of work on both ends.

  5. Catherine Sadler 27 December 2013 at 9:03 am #

    I’ve heard Matthew Perry talk about addiction before, and I know he’s passionate about wanting to help others. Hope he continues to be a strong figure for others in similar situations.

  6. Connor McCartin 27 December 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Matthew Perry is known to have had some struggles during his career, so he knows how addiction affects himself. There may not be a clear cut method, but just throwing people in jail doesn’t seem to help all the time either.

  7. Jen Fallot 27 December 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Addiction has always been studied to help us understand proper forms of treatments. There are so many types of rehab centers, and programs that usually help point us in the right direction for helping those who suffer.

  8. Donna Vaughn 27 December 2013 at 10:48 am #

    This is such a sensitive subject and their could be arguments for both sides but in the end it seems that someone who has been through it would have a better idea then someone who has not.

  9. Tom Tribole 31 December 2013 at 10:55 am #

    It’s good that Mr. Perry has decided to help out for this very troubling cause.