Matthew Perry to Help Raise Money for Addiction Treatment

By John Lavitt 03/14/14

The former ‘Friends’ star and recovering addict will be on hand in Houston this May.

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Following in the footsteps of Russell Brand and other Hollywood performers in recovery focusing on being of service, Matthew Perry will use his star power to help raise money for The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston this coming May.

The former star of “Friends” will share how he overcame alcoholism and addiction at The Waggoners Foundation Speaker Series’ 31st Annual Spring Luncheon. Taking place on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the Hilton Americas-Houston, the luncheon will benefit the expansion of recovery-oriented treatment options for the Houston community.

Since finding the path of long-term recovery from prescription drug addiction and alcohol abuse, Perry has shared his struggles in public hoping his example will help promote the benefits of sobriety. The actor has traveled the country speaking about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and advocating changes to the national drug policy. Raising awareness about the disease of addiction, Perry has said, “A lot of people think that addiction is a choice. A lot of people think it's a matter of will. That has not been my experience. I don't find it to have anything to do with strength.”

The degree of untreated drug and alcohol problems in Texas is staggering. The President and CEO of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, Mel Taylor, cited the findings in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Behavioral Health Barometer: Texas, 2013 study that less than five percent of people with such problems in Texas actually ever seek help. Taylor expressed his gratitude for Perry’s support. “It’s through folks like Matthew Perry coming to Texas and speaking out about these issues that we will inspire others to seek the help they need," he said.

Since the onset of the luncheon series in support of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston in 1999, the fundraiser has attracted over 25,000 people and raised over $11 million. Past luncheon speakers have included Hollywood stars like Jamie Lee Curtis, Ashley Judd, Carrie Fisher, Paul Williams, and Jim Belushi. By providing quality recovery services without turning anyone away, the Council directly helps over 75,000 addicts and alcoholics each year.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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