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Matthew Perry gets candid on the most important factor in fighting addiction.

The 'Friends' star updated the world on his own struggles as an addict.

Matthew Perry gets candid on the most important factor in fighting addiction.

The world will forever remember Chandler Bing as the sardonic friend who loved Monica Geller and biting sarcasm.

But if you ask Matthew Perry — the real-life person who brought Chandler into our living rooms — having created the iconic "Friends" character isn't the biggest accomplishment in his life nowadays:


"I've had a lot of ups and downs in my life and a lot of wonderful accolades. But the best thing about me is that if an alcoholic comes up to me and says, 'Will you help me stop drinking?' I will say, 'Yes. I know how to do that.'"


Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Perry — who's been open about his struggles with painkiller abuse and alcoholism for years — discussed how fame can be a powerful force for good in the Aug. 28, 2015, issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

Being on a TV show that tens of millions of people were watching gave Perry a unique platform to help others, the actor explained.

And, judging from the facts, it's definitely a perspective worthy of our attention.

Painkiller abuse in the U.S. has surged in the past several years.

"The United States is in the midst of a prescription painkiller overdose epidemic," according to the CDC. While Americans aren't reporting any more pain, the number of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1999.

The center reported in 2011 that increasing painkiller abuse was responsible for more American deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images.

Gil Kerlikowske, former director of National Drug Control Policy, spoke on its effects in 2011, claiming painkiller abuse “is a silent epidemic ... stealing thousands of lives and tearing apart communities and families across America."

That's why Perry has spoken out about his own demons loud and clear.

The actor explained to The Hollywood Report how selflessness can be key to getting sober.

In his interview, Perry praised Phoenix House, a rehab center based in Venice, California, for helping him get back on the right track.

The center was instrumental in his recovery, Perry acknowledged, but it's ultimately an addict's responsibility to reach sobriety: "They're not the finished product," he said of treatment facilities. "You have to follow it up with a lot of hard work afterwards."

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images.

Perry noted it's better for someone struggling with addiction to think more about others and less about themselves.

“The most important thing [in battling addiction] is always to get outside of your head and help another person. When you're having a bad day, call somebody and ask them how they're doing, and actually pay attention and listen to the answer."

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.