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‘Friends’ Actor Matthew Perry’s Medical Report Is Out: Here’s Why He Drowned to Death at His LA House


Last Updated: December 16, 2023, 06:26 IST

Los Angeles, United States of America (USA)

Friends sitcom star Matthew Perry died on October 28. (Reuters)

“Friends” star Matthew Perry, 54, succumbs to a ketamine overdose. Explore his battles with addiction and the shocking details surrounding his untimely death

“Friends” sitcom star Matthew Perry died from an accidental ketamine overdose, US medical examiners said Friday, following the investigation into his death. Perry, 54, was found unconscious in a swimming pool at his house in Los Angeles in October.

He had struggled for decades with addiction to drugs, including ketamine, and related serious health issues, but had reportedly been clean for over a year before his passing. Perry’s sudden passing drew shocked reactions from Hollywood A-listers, his co-stars, and “Friends” fans worldwide.

“Matthew Perry’s cause of death is determined to be from the acute effects of ketamine,” the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office said in a statement. “Contributory factors in his death include drowning, coronary artery disease and buprenorphine effects. The manner of death is accident. ”

Ketamine is illegally used as a recreational drug for its numbing and hallucinogenic effects. The drug can also be used by doctors as an anesthetic, and researchers are exploring its use as a mental health treatment. Perry earlier wrote in his memoirs of how he had relied on using ketamine daily at points during his battles with addiction.

Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the hit TV sitcom from 1994-2004, said the drug eased his pain and helped with depression. “Has my name written all over it — they might as well have called it ‘Matty,’” he wrote, of ketamine. “Taking K is like being hit in the head with a giant happy shovel. But the hangover was rough and outweighed the shovel,” explained Perry.

Six New Yorkers

“Friends,” which followed the lives of six New Yorkers navigating adulthood, dating and careers, drew a massive global following. But even as he delivered on-air gag after gag — and earned a fortune — Perry was struggling. He attended multiple rehabilitation clinics to combat addiction to painkillers and alcohol. In 2018 he suffered a burst colon, related to drug usage, and underwent multiple surgeries.

In his memoir “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” published last year, Perry described going through detox dozens of times. He dedicated the book to “all of the sufferers out there,” and wrote in the prologue: “I should be dead.” “I have mostly been sober since 2001,” he wrote, “save for about sixty or seventy little mishaps over the years.”

Trace of ketamine

The examiner’s report does not specify how or when Perry had consumed the fatal dose of ketamine. But it found that trace amounts were detected in his stomach, and that prescription medications and loose pills were present at his home. Perry was undergoing medical treatment involving ketamine — but his most recent known infusion was more than a week before his death, meaning that dose would no longer have been in his system.

The examiner’s report says the levels of ketamine in Perry’s blood were comparable to higher-range levels used as general anesthetic in surgeries, and would cause overstimulation of the heart and problems breathing. This could have caused Perry to lapse into unconsciousness, with drowning then becoming a contributory cause of death.

Perry’s coronary artery disease, and his use of buprenorphine to treat severe pain, would have made him more vulnerable to the effects of ketamine, the report finds. No alcohol was detected in his system by the autopsy report. Nor were there any traces of other drugs such as cocaine, heroin or fentanyl.

(With agency inputs)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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