05:38 PM EDT 10/21/2013

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Matthew Perry's Untold Story: My Life as an Addict

Matthew Perry's Untold Story: My Life as an Addict

Originally posted 07/06/2013 03:05PM

At 24, Matthew Perry landed a role that would utterly change his life – and help define a generation: Chandler Bing on Friends.

Along with his five castmates, his face was suddenly on everything from calendars to coffee mugs, and his salary ballooned to $1 million an episode. As his sardonic alter ego might have put it, "Could he be any more famous?"

But behind the scenes, Perry struggled with a serious alcohol problem. Then, after a 1997 Jet Ski accident, a doctor prescribed him Vicodin and said, "'Here, take this.' I did, and I felt better than I ever felt in my entire life," Perry says. "I had a big problem with pills and alcohol, and I couldn't stop."

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