Matthew Perry’s Accidental Death Attributed to ‘Acute Effects of Ketamine’, Autopsy Report Reveals

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On Friday, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed that the accidental death of beloved actor Matthew Perry was due to the “acute effects of ketamine.”

The ‘Friends’ star, adored for his role as the quick-witted Chandler Bing, was found unresponsive in the pool of his Los Angeles home on October 28th and was subsequently pronounced dead by arriving paramedics.

TMZ reported that Perry, who was public about his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, was found at his own home inside of his jacuzzi after law enforcement responded to a call for cardiac arrest around 4 pm local time.

It was reported Perry died from an “apparent drowning.”

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In 2016, Perry said in an interview that he doesn’t remember filming three seasons of ‘Friends’ because he was so deep in his addiction. However, it was reported that he was clean for a significant period before his untimely death at the age of 54.

According to TMZ, no drugs were found at the scene.

Matthew Perry had reportedly played 2 hours of pickleball on Saturday morning and sent his assistant to run some errands. When the assistant returned to Perry’s home, he found him unresponsive and dialed 911, TMZ reported.

According to Fox News, Perry was already dead by the time firefighters arrived at his Pacific Palisades home.

“A bystander had brought the man’s head above the water and gotten him to the edge, then firefighters removed him from the water,” a statement from public information officer Erik Scott read, according to Fox News.

The autopsy report shed light on additional contributing factors, including drowning, coronary artery disease, and the impact of buprenorphine, a medication used in treating opioid use disorder.

The senior deputy medical examiner commented on the case, stating that the potent levels of ketamine found in Perry’s post-mortem blood specimens primarily led to life-threatening cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression. The chance of drowning was emphasized as a likely outcome of losing consciousness and submerging in the pool, with his underlying coronary artery disease exacerbating the drug’s effect on his heart.

People reported:

The actor was practicing ketamine infusion therapy and his last treatment took place just “one and a half weeks before” his death, the report stated. However, the coroner noted that “the ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy, since ketamine’s half-life is 3 to 4 hours, or less.”

Buprenorphine is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

Ketamine is a “dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects,” per the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. It “distorts the perception of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control,” and “can induce a state of sedation (feeling calm and relaxed), immobility, relief from pain, and amnesia.”

Ketamine was approved as a short-acting anesthetic by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the 1970s. And in 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved a nasal spray called esketamine, derived from ketamine, as a medication for depression.

However, the drug is also illegally taken to get high, as it can put people into a relaxed or detached state.

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