Matthew Perry’s Vicodin Struggle: Hollywood’s Underlying Battle with Addiction
Matthew Perry, who entered rehab almost two weeks ago, can’t seem to kick it. Eminem has a Vicodin tattoo on his arm and a picture of a Vicodin tablet on his Slim Shady LP. David Spade cracked a joke about it on the Golden Globes telecast. And Darryl Strawberry has had problems with the pills.
“Who isn’t doing them? Everyone who makes it starts popping them,” says rocker Courtney Love in the new Us Weekly, which features a special report on the drug. “I did it. I loved it. I also ended up in rehab.”
Vicodin, which is part narcotic, part acetaminophen, is one of the country’s most popular painkillers. But it’s become such an abused drug that places like the Waismann Institute in Beverly Hills advertise special Vicodin detox programs.
“We treat a lot of people from entertainment,” CEO Clare Waismann tells USA TODAY. “What happens is patients start taking it and your body adapts to it very, very fast. It’s a numbing device, and the more you take, the more you need. You stop producing endorphins because the body receives opiates instead.”
Waismann adds: “It does feel good. I have a lot of patients, like women who have gone through breast enlargement, and they’re supposed to take one a day for five days and then they need two just to get to sleep. Then the two is not doing the job, and they’re seeking more.”
The 31-year-old Perry was in Dallas filming “Servicing Sara” with Elizabeth Hurley, reports Us when he had such severe stomach pains that he called a local doctor, who advised rehab. Perry, who did a 28- day program three years ago for a Vicodin addiction, flew to L.A. and checked into Marina del Rey’s Daniel Freeman Hospital. Us says he was taking Vicodin, methadone, and speed, and drinking.
On Wednesday, Perry publicist Lisa Kasteler said only that her client “is in rehab.” She was unable to say how long he would be there.column]