Matthew Perry's Cause Of Death Released

The "Friends" star, 54, was found dead in his hot tub at home in October.

Actor Matthew Perry, who was found dead at age 54 at his Los Angeles home in October, died from the “acute effects of ketamine,” according to a Friday news release from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner.

Contributing factors in Perry’s accidental death included drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, a drug used in the treatment of opioid addiction.

Ketamine is an anaesthetic drug that is sometimes used in treatments for depression and other mental health conditions. Some people also use it recreationally for its hallucinogenic and dissociative effects.

An autopsy report noted that Perry had previously been on ketamine infusion therapy. However, the report said his last therapy session had occurred a week and a half before his death, so the ketamine found in his system could not have been from that treatment.

The “high levels” of ketamine in Perry’s body would have caused “cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression,” the report said.

Law enforcement found Perry dead in his hot tub on the afternoon of Oct. 28. At the time, it appeared to be a drowning incident.

Perry, who starred as Chandler Bing in the smash ’90s sitcom “Friends,” publicly dealt with substance abuse issues, which he described in a 2022 memoir. In 2013, he founded the Perry House, a men’s sober living facility, in Malibu, California.

Actor Matthew Perry in 2009.
Actor Matthew Perry in 2009.
AP Photo/Matt Sayles

In the days following his death, a clip resurfaced in which Perry said that he wanted to be best remembered for his work helping others overcome addiction.

“The best thing about me, bar none, is if someone comes up to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘Yes,’ and follow up and do it,” Perry said in the 2022 interview. “That’s the best thing.”

“I’ve said this for a long time — when I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing that’s mentioned,” he said. “I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned, and I’m going to live the rest of my life proving that.”

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