Matthew Perry was driven to rehab in pick-up truck after filming Chandler and Monica’s wedding on Friends

Matthew Perry has said that he had to be driven to rehab after filming Chandler and Monica’s (Courteney Cox) wedding on Friends.

Throughout his career, the actor struggled with addiction to alcohol and painkillers. His problems with alcohol began when he was 14, drinking beer and wine, before later moving on to vodka and prescription drugs.

At his worst moments, Perry would take 55 strong painkillers a day to get through filming.

Writing in his forthcoming memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (viaThe New York Times), explained that he was receiving treatment for his addiction while filming season seven of the show, which included the episode “The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding”.

“I married Monica and got driven back to the treatment centre — at the height of my highest point in Friends, the highest point in my career, the iconic moment on the iconic show — in a pickup truck helmed by a sober technician,” Perry said.

The other actors on the cast of Friends were aware of his addiction, Perry wrote, saying that Jennifer Aniston once told him “in a kind of weird but loving way” that the cast knew he was drinking again because “we can smell it”.

“The plural ‘we’ hits me like a sledgehammer,’ Perry wrote. The cast spoke to him about his addiction in future occasions.

Perry and Cox on ‘Friends' (Getty Images)
Perry and Cox on ‘Friends' (Getty Images)

Perry also discussed the moment in a forthcoming interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC.

In a preview from the discussion, Perry tells the presenter: “Imagine how scary a moment that was. She was the one that reached out the most... I’m really grateful to her for that,” he says.

“Secrets kill you... secrets kill people like me.”

Speaking to The New York Times, Perry explained that his addiction spiralled while filming Friends, but he didn’t “know how to stop”.

Perry in 2000 (Getty Images)
Perry in 2000 (Getty Images)

“I would fake back injuries,” he said. “I would fake migraine headaches. I had eight doctors going at the same time. I would wake up and have to get 55 Vicodin that day, and figure out how to do it.

“When you’re a drug addict, it’s all math. I go to this place, and I need to take three. And then I go to this place, and I’m going to take five because I’m going to be there longer. It’s exhausting but you have to do it or you get very, very sick.”

He continued: “I wasn’t doing it to feel high or to feel good. I certainly wasn’t a partier, I just wanted to sit on my couch, take five Vicodin and watch a movie. That was heaven for me. It no longer is.”

Elsewhere in his memoir, Perry revealed that he was attracted to Aniston while filming the early seasons of Friends, having asked her out and been rejected a few years before.

Matthew Perry: Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing is released on 28 October.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, you can confidentially call the national alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.