Matthew Perry’s cause of death has been revealed.
They note that ketamine “is used to treat depression and is also used as a recreational drug.”
According to the medical examiner’s toxicology report, “Perry had taken ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety a week-and-a-half before his death.” But “the ketamine in his system at the time of his death, however, ‘could not be from that infusion therapy, since ketamine’s half-life is 3 to 4 hours, or less.’”
The report notes that there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs like cocaine, heroine, methamphetamine, or fentanyl present at the scene of Perry’s death. The Medical Examiner concluded that the ketamine in Perry’s system resulted in “cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression.” It also cited “drowning, coronary artery disease, and buprenorphine effects” as “contributory factors” in his death.
Although he appeared in numerous other movies and television shows, Perry was best known for his role as lovably sarcastic Chandler Bing or ten seasons and over 230 episodes of Friends. As the story goes, Perry was Friends creators’ first choice for the role of Chandler — but he was under contract to another TV series at the time. Eventually, Perry was able to get out of the other show and audition for Chandler and got the role. He was only 24 years old at the time he was cast, and the youngest member of the core Friends cast.
Born in Massachusetts, Perry was largely raised in Canada; he went to school as a young man with future Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Besides his iconic role on Friends, Chandler also starred in the Aaron Sorkin series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and the sitcoms Go On and The Odd Couple. His film roles included Fools Rush In, 17 Again, and the hit comedy The Whole Nine Yards, plus its sequel, The Whole Ten Yards.
Perry struggled with addiction off and on throughout his adult life, but had been sober for months prior to his death. In 2022, he released a memoir detailing his career and his struggle with addiction, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.
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