“Some of you may know that I used to have a little bit of a Vicodin problem,” said Matthew Perry as he accepted an award at Phoenix House’s Triumph for Teens Awards Gala, held at the Montage Hotel last night. “And when I say ‘a little bit’ I mean I used to take enough on a daily basis to kill a baby elephant. When you take a lot of Vicodin, you have a tendency to vomit—a lot—it’s just a thing, a thing you do, and you have very little warning. So what I would do is, I would come home, I would open the front door, and I would sprint at top speed to the bathroom and kneel down in front of the toilet and you know, start to vomit. I kept two towels with me. I had one towel to wipe the vomit off of my face and the other one to wipe the tears that were streaming down my face. And at that moment, I looked up into the mirror and said, ‘Some day I’m gonna win an award for this!”
Perry wasn’t the only famous face telling hard truths to raise money for Phoenix House, which has been helping teens get sober for 36 years.
You could hear a pin drop when former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke from the stage about his own history. “I started drinking at 10. I started smoking at 10,” he said while accepting an award for public service. “When asked once if I ever did drugs, I said ‘yes.’ I froze when they asked the question. When they asked the second question, ‘Which ones?’ I said, ‘All of them. Next question.’”
Both Perry and Villaraigosa emphasized to those assembled in the ballroom that there is hope after addiction. Then, everyone got into the giving spirit of the evening—one little boy even donated his allowance—and Lee England Jr. and former Eagle Don Felder performed.