Matthew Perry says ‘Friends’ fans can tell what drugs he was on by his changing appearance on the show.
The 53-year-old actor, who was nearly killed by his drink and drug abuse, shared a jokey guide in his upcoming autobiography ‘Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing’ about how his addictions could be charted from his varying weight and beard while he played Chandler Bing on the 10-season run of the sitcom from 1994 to 2004.
In an extract obtained by Page Six, he said: “You can track the trajectory for my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season.
“When I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills; when I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.”
Matthew has told how he spent millions of dollars to get sober, recently telling The New York Times: “I’ve probably spent $9 million (£8 million) or something trying to get sober.”
The actor added to PEOPLE: “If you don’t have sobriety, you’re going to lose everything that you put in front of it, so my sobriety is right up there.
“I’m an extremely grateful guy. I’m grateful to be alive, that’s for sure. And that gives me the possibility to do anything.”
Matthew recently celebrated 18 months of sobriety following a near-death experience after his colon burst due t his drug use, resulting in a five-month hospitalisation and the actor being fitted with a colostomy bag.
He has admitted: “My therapist said, ‘The next time you think about taking OxyContin, just think about having a colostomy bag for the rest of your life’.
“And a little window opened, and I crawled through it, and I no longer want OxyContin.”
During his lowest points, Matthew was taking 55 Vicodin a day and at one point weighed 128lbs.
He has also told PEOPLE he only has to “look down” at his stomach scars from the 14 surgeries he endured to remind him to stay sober.
Matthew’s colon burst from opioid overuse in a “gastrointestinal perforation”, and he said: “The doctors told my family that I had a 2% chance to live. 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.
“I’m pretty healthy now.”