Actor Matthew Perry died from acute effects of ketamine, autopsy reveals

The actor passed away on October 29. He was reportedly found drowned in a jacuzzi in his home in Los Angeles.
Actor Matthew Perry died from acute effects of ketamine, autopsy reveals

Matthew Perry died from the acute effects of the anaesthetic ketamine, according to the results of an autopsy on the 54-year-old Friends actor released Friday. The medical officials in Los Angeles confirmed the cause of his death.

The actor passed away on October 29. He was reportedly found drowned in a jacuzzi in his home in Los Angeles.

Other contributing causes of the 54-year-old's death were given as coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid use disorder, the LA County medical examiner said in a statement.

"At the high levels of ketamine found in his post-mortem blood specimens, the main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression," senior deputy medical examiner Raffi Djabourian wrote, according to the Press Association.

"Drowning contributes due to the likelihood of submersion into the pool as he lapsed into unconsciousness; coronary artery disease contributes due to exacerbation of ketamine-induced myocardial effects on the heart."

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.

The actor had taken drugs in the past but had been “reportedly clean for 19 months," according to the report. The coroner said he was reported to have been having ketamine infusion therapy to deal with depression and anxiety, and his last treatment was 1 1/2 weeks before his death.

Despite his success with Friends, from 1994-2004, Matthew Perry suffered from addiction to Alcohol and Vicodin and was taking treatment for the same from 1997 to 2001.

In his autobiography, Perry addressed his addiction extensively, stating that during his lowest points, he needed to take 55 potent painkillers a day to get through a day of filming.

After attempts at treatment, he wrote in his memoir that he had been mostly sober since 2001 - "save for about 60 or 70 mishaps."

Matthew had his funeral at a Los Angeles cemetery in front of family members and co-stars of the popular sitcom Friends from the 1990s.

Less than a mile from the Warner Brothers studio where the show was taped, mourners congregated at the Hollywood Hills neighbourhood's Forest Lawn cemetery. Several A-list celebrities from Hollywood, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Lucille Ball, and Michael Jackson, have their final resting places there as well.

If you are or know someone who is suffering from drug abuse or substance abuse, seek help from the National Toll Free Helpline (1800-11-0031)

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