Actor Matthew Perry died from ‘acute effects of ketamine’

Actor Matthew Perry died

LOS ANGELES, Dec 16 (Reuters) – “Friends” star Matthew Perry passed away due to the “acute effects” of the potent sedative ketamine. The autopsy report, released on Friday, revealed that a combination of ketamine and other factors led to the actor losing consciousness and drowning in his hot tub. Perry, 54, who openly acknowledged a history of drug and alcohol abuse, was discovered by his live-in assistant nearly seven weeks ago, floating face down and lifeless in the jacuzzi of his Los Angeles residence.

“Friends” star Matthew Perry’s tragic death was attributed to the “acute effects” of the powerful sedative ketamine, as per an autopsy report released by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. The report suggests that a combination of factors, including the sedative, led to Perry losing consciousness and drowning in his hot tub. Perry, 54, who had openly acknowledged a history of drug and alcohol abuse, was discovered lifeless by his live-in assistant in the jacuzzi of his Los Angeles home nearly seven weeks before the release of the autopsy report.

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The toxicology tests conducted on Matthew Perry revealed elevated levels of ketamine, a potent short-acting anesthetic with hallucinogenic properties. The concentrations were within the range typically associated with general anesthesia used in closely monitored surgical procedures, as indicated by the autopsy report.

Los Angeles, December 15 (Reuters) – According to an autopsy report released on Friday, Matthew Perry, the “Friends” star, died due to the “acute effects” of the potent sedative ketamine. The autopsy revealed that a combination of these effects, along with other factors, led to Perry losing consciousness and drowning in his hot tub.

The report, issued by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, came almost seven weeks after the 54-year-old actor, who openly acknowledged a history of drug and alcohol abuse, was discovered by his live-in assistant floating face down and lifeless in the jacuzzi of his Los Angeles residence.

Toxicology tests conducted during the autopsy detected high levels of ketamine in Perry’s body. Ketamine is a short-acting anesthetic with hallucinogenic properties, and the levels found were within the range typically associated with general anesthesia used in monitored surgical care.

“Friends” actor Matthew Perry’s autopsy revealed that he died from the acute effects of ketamine, a powerful sedative. The combination of ketamine and other factors led to the loss of consciousness, ultimately resulting in Perry drowning in his hot tub. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s report, released seven weeks after the incident, highlighted the presence of high levels of ketamine in Perry’s body, consistent with general anesthesia levels. Perry, 54, known for his decades-long struggle with substance abuse, was discovered lifeless in his jacuzzi by his live-in assistant. The autopsy concluded that the primary cause of death was the acute effects of ketamine, with contributing factors including coronary artery disease, the presence of buprenorphine (an opioid-addiction medication), and drowning. The official ruling is that Perry’s death was accidental.

The autopsy report on Matthew Perry indicates that the levels of ketamine found in his body were significant enough to potentially overstimulate his heart rate while simultaneously depressing his breathing. This combination likely led to Perry losing consciousness and subsequently drowning in the hot tub where he was discovered. The report sheds light on the physiological impact of ketamine and suggests a sequence of events that could have contributed to Perry’s unfortunate demise.

The exact method of intake in Mr. Perry’s case is unknown, as per the report. It notes that trace amounts of ketamine were found in his stomach, with no recent needle marks on his body. This lack of clarity underscores the challenge in determining how the drug was ingested, leaving uncertainties regarding the specific circumstances leading to Matthew Perry’s untimely demise.

Matthew Perry, renowned for his role in “Friends,” passed away due to the “acute effects” of the potent sedative ketamine. The autopsy report revealed that the combination of ketamine, along with other factors, led to the actor losing consciousness and drowning in his hot tub. The report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner emerged almost seven weeks after Perry, aged 54, was discovered lifeless in the jacuzzi of his Los Angeles residence by his live-in assistant. Perry had openly acknowledged a history of drug and alcohol abuse spanning decades.

Toxicology tests disclosed elevated levels of ketamine in Perry’s body, a short-acting anesthetic with hallucinogenic properties. The concentration was well within the range associated with general anesthesia used in monitored surgical care. The autopsy concluded that the acute effects of ketamine were the primary cause of Perry’s demise.

Coronary artery disease and the presence of the opioid-addiction medicine buprenorphine, alongside drowning, were listed as contributing factors in his death. The authorities ruled his passing as accidental. The concentrations of ketamine in Perry’s system were determined to have overstimulated his heart rate while simultaneously depressing his breathing, likely causing unconsciousness before he drowned in the hot tub. The exact method of ketamine intake remains unknown, with trace amounts found in his stomach and no recent needle marks on his body.

Ketamine, classified as a “dissociative anesthetic hallucinogen,” induces a sense of detachment from pain, anxiety, and the environment. It can be administered through injection, liquid mixing, snorting as a powder, or smoking, as outlined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The versatility of ketamine’s forms raises concerns about potential misuse and the various ways individuals might be exposed to its effects.

The results of the autopsy hinted at the possibility that Matthew Perry may have been self-medicating with ketamine in between medically supervised treatments with the drug.

As per witness interviews mentioned in the report, Matthew Perry had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety. However, his last documented treatment was a week and a half before his death, implying that the ketamine found in his system, as indicated by medical examiners, would have been introduced after that last infusion.

Matthew Perry’s death on October 28 occurred one year after the publication of his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” where he detailed his prolonged battles with addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol spanning decades. In the memoir, he revealed a struggle that nearly led to the end of his life on multiple occasions.

Matthew Perry, renowned for portraying Chandler Bing on the popular 1990s sitcom “Friends,” had maintained sobriety for 19 months with no reported substance abuse relapses before his passing, as per details from interviews mentioned in the autopsy.

Investigators discovered no alcohol, illicit substances, or drug-related items at the site of Matthew Perry’s demise. However, multiple nicotine vaping products and an inhaler were located in Perry’s living room. Injectables of the anti-diabetes medication tirzepatide and nicotine lollipops were stored in the refrigerator.

The actor, who had quit smoking two weeks before his death, was prescribed Tamoxifen—a hormone regulator typically used for breast cancer prevention—as part of a weight loss regimen. Additionally, the report indicated that Matthew Perry was undergoing testosterone shots.

Non-toxic levels of certain prescription medications were identified in Perry’s body. However, the report clarified that no traces of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or other illegal narcotics were detected.

As widely reported, Perry had engaged in pickleball hours before his death. A witness who was familiar with the actor informed investigators that he appeared to be in “good spirits” during their last conversation days before, as mentioned in the report.

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Rosalba O’Brien, and William Mallard. This information adheres to the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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