People Magazine Highlights Matthew Perry’s New Passion: Drug Courts and Being of Service to People Suffering with Addiction

“The point of talking about this is far from me wanting a pat on the back. It’s to get the word out to help people that are suffering.” - Matthew Perry


July 5, 2013 -- All Rise Ambassador Matthew Perry is on the cover of People Magazine this week talking about his journey to find recovery and the peace he has found by being of service to those who need help. The actor, who will be speaking during NADCP’s upcoming 19th Annual Training Conference, opens up about the launch of his new sober living facility called Perry House, and his support for Drug Courts.

The magazine has just hit newsstands; here are some highlights:

Thanks to the help of renowned addiction/recovery specialist Earl Hightower, he’s now sober and committed to helping others. He turned his former Malibu home into Perry House, a men’s sober-living facility. And he’s a passionate advocate for drug courts, where nonviolent substance abusers receive treatment instead of jail time for their offenses. Last October he testified before Congress about the court’s effectiveness and helped secure $45 million in funding. “Matthew is an ambassador of possibility for a vast group of people,” says Hightower. “People he’ll never meet will get services because he championed their cause.”

Perry transformed his 3,677-sq-ft. mansion in the hills overlooking the Malibu coastline from a residential hideaway into an exclusive sober-living home for men earlier this year. Once addicts complete treatment in a rehab center, they often take up residence in a sober-living home to ease the transition back into the world, Perry explains. There are daily meditations, 12-step workshops, home-cooked meals and 24-hour on-site management. The home can accommodate up to seven men who abide by a set of house rules including regular drug tests and an 11 p.m. curfew. "we like men to stay for a minimum of 90 days," says addiction specialist Earl Hightower, who runs two other sober-living homes in Southern California. Initially reluctant to call the facility Perry House, Perry is glad he did. "It's a really cool thing for my dad to see our name on the house," he says.

I had been helping people on a one-on-one level, but Earl felt I could be a greater service in a much bigger way. When he asked me to speak at a 4,000-person drug-court convention a few years ago, I did it. At the convention a young boy took the stage. He had written a statement, but he was crying so hard he couldn't get it out. The one thing he managed to say was, “Thank you, everybody, for giving my mom back to me.” I was so moved. From that point on, I became a loyal foot soldier for drug courts. In the years since, I’ve traveled around the country, and I’ve lobbied Congress for funding.

I’ll be back in Washington later this month for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Conference. At 43, there are two things I’m an expert on: 1980s tennis and addiction. I’ve had a life of extreme highs and extreme lows. I’ve had a big life. But the most proud I am of all of it, the thing I like most about me, the thing that I worked hardest for, is that if somebody is struggling with alcoholism and addiction and they come up to me and say, “I can’t stop drinking: can you help me?” I can say, “Yes” and then follow up and do it. I’d rather do that than just about anything, it’s just the right thing to do.”

Make sure you pick up a copy of People Magazine this week and read all about Matthew’s incredible efforts to change the lives of people struggling with addiction.