Friends star Matthew Perry’s cause of death revealed: what is ketamine?


The actor Matthew Perry died as a result of the “acute effects of ketamine”, the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner says.

Perry, who is best known for his role as Chandler on the hit NBC sitcom Friends, died in late October, having been found unresponsive in the hot tub at his home in Los Angeles, California.

The 54-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

What is ketamine?

Ketamine is a drug that is used medically as a short-term anaesthetic on humans and animals, and as a treatment for depression.

Known as a ‘dissociative anaesthetic hallucinogen’ it is also taken as a recreational drug, by being injected, snorted, drunk or smoked.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency, ketamine “distorts perceptions of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control”.

What did Department of Medical Examiner say?

According to an autopsy report released on Friday, Perry had been taking a ketamine infusion therapy to treat depression and anxiety, with his last use of the therapy coming about a week and a half before his death.

However, the Department of Medical Examiner added that the ketamine found in the Hollywood star’s body after he died “could not be from that infusion therapy, since ketamine’s half-life is three to four hours, or less”.

The ketamine in Perry’s system led to “cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression”, the report states.

Contributing factor’s in his death include “drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine (used to treat opioid use disorder)”, investigators noted.

Perry believed to be clean and sober

Perry, who had struggled with addiction for much of his life, had reportedly been clean and sober for 19 months, the Department of Medical Examiner said.

No evidence of alcohol, or drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, PCP and fentanyl, was found.

Video – Courteney Cox shares hilarious Matthew Perry Friends outtake:

Friends star Matthew Perry’s cause of death revealed: what is ketamine?

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