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 ARCpoint Labs’ national locations.