Officials Confirm Cause of Death for Matthew Perry

Beloved “Friends” star Matthew Perry’s tragic passing was attributed to the “acute effects” of the dissociative drug ketamine, as revealed by an autopsy report released on Friday. At the age of 54, Perry passed away on October 28th. The report specified “acute effects of ketamine” and drowning as the main causes of death, with contributing factors such as “coronary artery disease” and “buprenorphine effects,” referencing the opioid partial agonist medication.
Furthermore, “prescription medications and loose pills” were discovered at Perry’s residence at the time of his death, as mentioned in the report, which also indicated that his death was accidental. The report further indicated that Perry had been receiving ketamine infusion therapy, with his most recent treatment occurring approximately 10 days prior to his untimely passing. Substantial levels of the hallucinogenic drug were found in his system. Officials suspect that Perry fell unconscious before being submerged in water, although it remains unclear how the actor, known for playing Chandler Bing on “Friends,” administered the drug.

Perry was discovered unresponsive in his jacuzzi at his Pacific Palisades residence in California. Upon arrival, the Los Angeles City Fire Department pronounced him deceased. In addition to Perry’s iconic role on “Friends,” he appeared in a variety of television shows and films, including “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “17 Again,” and “Fools Rush In.”

The news of Perry’s death elicited an outpouring of grief from his “Friends” co-stars, with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer expressing their profound sorrow in a heartfelt statement. Mr. LeBlanc, who portrayed Joey Tribbiani on the show, posted on Instagram, expressing that “the times we had together are honestly among the favorite times of my life.”

Aniston, who played Rachel Green on “Friends,” shared her fond memories of her final conversation with Perry. She and co-star Reese Witherspoon revealed in a Variety magazine interview that he was in good spirits and had quit smoking. Substance abuse struggles have been a topic of public discussion for Perry over the years, as indicated in his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.”

In honor of Perry’s commitment to helping those struggling with addiction, the Matthew Perry Foundation announced plans to establish a foundation dedicated to fulfilling his vision of making a positive impact on as many lives as possible.

Ketamine, the drug attributed to Perry’s death, is a dissociative anesthetic historically used in anesthesia, though recent years have seen it utilized for depression and pain treatment, as well as veterinary medicine. Its recreational use at underground parties is often associated with its hallucinogenic properties, alongside its classification among other potentially addictive substances like nitrous oxide, dextromethorphan, and PCP. The FDA had issued a warning concerning “compounded ketamine products” just two weeks before Perry’s passing.
Contributing to controversy surrounding the drug, the FDA refrained from endorsing the use of ketamine in psychiatric treatment. The administration government cites a lack of evidence supporting its effectiveness and safety for conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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