Matthew Perry starred in the biggest sitcom of all time. He was most proud of his impact off-screen.

But his addiction escalated and at one point, he lost a substancial amount of weight and was taking 55 painkillers a day.

“I didn’t know how to stop,” he recalled. “If the police came over to my house and said, ‘If you drink tonight, we’re going to take you to jail,’ I’d start packing. I couldn’t stop because the disease and the addiction [are] progressive,” he continued.

In his book, Perry detailed his long journey with addiction, fame and recovery. His relationship with drugs began when he was only a 30-day-old newborn and was prescribed a barbiturate for Baby colic, something which he believes had a lasting impact on his sleep. 

He also later developed an addiction to Vicodin, which he was prescribed after a Jet Ski accident in 1997.

“It wasn’t my intention to have a problem with it,” he told PEOPLE. “But from the start, I liked how it made me feel, and I wanted to get more.”

However, it was the addiction to alcohol that took its toll on his mental health.

“I finally felt at home, for the very first time, as soon as I drank alcohol,” recalled Perry. “And I had a much different reaction than normal people have. Normal people have a drink and they feel a little, you know, woozy.… I have a drink and, for the first time in three weeks, life seems to make sense.”

His substance abuse was also so dire that he was hospitalised and given a two per cent chance of survival after his colon burst from opioid overuse.