Friends Star Matthew Perry died of “acute effects of ketamine”, Autopsy Shows

Hollywood actor Matthew Perry died from the “acute effects of ketamine,” the Los Angeles County medical examiner revealed on Friday.

The beloved Friends star, who was 54, was discovered “unresponsive in the pool at his residence” and was pronounced dead on October 28. The medical examiner ruled his death as accidental.

Perry, best known for his role as Chandler Bing, had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety, Variety reported.

Friends star Matthew Perry has died at age 54. Credit: Shutterstock.com/ S_Bukley
Friends star Matthew Perry has died at age 54. Credit: Shutterstock.com/ S_Bukley

According to the postmortem examination, Perry’s passing was attributed to the “acute effects of ketamine,” with contributing factors including “drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine,” a medication used to treat opioid use disorder.

While smoking was not officially listed as a contributing factor in Perry’s passing, the report highlighted his daily consumption of two packs of cigarettes, along with his preexisting conditions of COPD/emphysema and diabetes.

The medical examiner found no evidence of alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, PCP, or fentanyl in his system.

Perry had been transparent about his battles with addiction and sobriety, even establishing a sober living facility for men facing similar challenges.

In his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry detailed his struggle with alcoholism from a young age and his addiction to pain medication following a 1997 jet skiing accident.

The cast of Friends. Credit: NBC Universal.

His addictions led to a coma and a substantial cost of about $7 million for his recovery.

In the wake of his passing, a foundation was established in Perry’s name to support individuals grappling with addiction.

Jennifer Aniston, Perry’s Friends co-star, shared that he was in good spirits before his death, having quit smoking and focused on improving his health.

Perry’s funeral took place in a private service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, attended by Aniston and other Friends co-stars Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.

In a joint statement, the cast expressed their profound grief.

“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” their statement read. “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.

“In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”

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