Matthew Perry Turns His Malibu Mansion Into a Sober Home
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Matthew Perry's stints in rehab and numerous relapses were once splashed across the news. But these days, the former Friends star is making headlines with his advocacy on behalf of the addiction-recovery community. The 43-year-old actor, sober since 2009, recently teamed up with addiction specialist Earl Hightower to transform Perry's former home in Malibu, California into a sober living residence for men. The Perry House is a transitional space, helping recovering addicts ease back in to their regular lives. "If you're thrown from treatment to the outside world, sometimes it's too bumpy," says Perry, speaking from his own experience. Back in the Friends era, the actor checked into treatment for alcoholism and prescription drug addiction in 1997 and again in 2001. But he had a hard time making it stick. "I was a sick guy," he says. He's come a long way since, and these days says he can barely even look back at old photographs of himself without cringing: "I honestly recoil. It's scary to look at that." Perry and Hightower were presented with a Champion of Recovery award this month from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, for their efforts to open Perry House, as well as Perry's advocacy on behalf of non-violent drug offenders. Being honored by the White House was "a very surreal thing," says Perry, jokingly adding, "We're award-winning alcoholics."