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Matthew Perry Looks Back at Addiction

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- While Matthew Perry's struggles with prescription drugs and booze in the 1990s are already well known, in the new issue of People, he opens up about just how difficult the period was for him -- and how he bounced back.

At the height of his Friends fame, Perry says, "I had a big problem with alcohol and pills and I couldn't stop...Eventually things got so bad that I couldn't hide it, and then everybody knew."

It took time for the actor to come to grips with the addiction, until he finally embraced sobriety.

"Something clicked," Perry says.  "You have to want the help."

The actor explains he now dedicates his life to helping others get clean, including turning his Malibu beach home into a men's sober living facility he dubbed Perry House.

Perry tells the magazine, "The interesting reason that I can be so helpful to people now is that I screwed up so often...It's nice for people to see that somebody who once struggled in their life is not struggling any more."

Helping others find sobriety has brought him "true happiness," says the former Go On star.

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