Opinion | On Matthew Perry, Loneliness and Addiction

In a memoir published a year ago, Matthew Perry wrote about his longtime struggle with drugs and alcohol. His recent death prompted the author Patti Davis to reflect on her own experience with addiction. In this audio essay, Davis explains why she believes loneliness is at the center of addiction and how Perry’s life story reflects that.

(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available midday on the Times website.)

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This Opinion short was produced by Jillian Weinberg. It was edited by Kaari Pitkin and Alison Bruzek. Mixing by Efim Shapiro. Original music by Carole Sabouraud, Pat McCusker, Isaac Jones and Efim Shapiro. Fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta and Kristina Samulewski.