Updated December 17th, 2023 at 09:08 IST

When Matthew Perry spoke about the after-effects of ketamine infusion therapy: Felt like I was dying

In his memoir, Matthew Perry opened up about his experimentation with ketamine infusions during a stint in rehab in Switzerland.

Matthew Perry file photo | Image:Matthew Perry/Instagram

Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the popular sitcom FRIENDS, was found dead in a hot tub on October 28. More than a month after his passing, the toxicology report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office has unveiled the details surrounding the untimely death. According to the report, the actor passed away from "the acute effects of ketamine."

He detailed his encounters with ketamine in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. Recent developments following Perry's autopsy report have brought his views on ketamine back into the spotlight.


When Matthew Perry opened up about his Ketamine therapy

In his memoir, Matthew Perry discussed his experimentation with ketamine infusions during a stint in rehab in Switzerland. Initially intrigued by its potential to ease pain and help with depression, the actor described ketamine as a "giant exhale." He also shared that ketamine was "not for him."

(File photo | Image: Matthew Perry/Instagram)

During ketamine infusion therapy, Perry revealed that he would be blindfolded and listen to music. These sessions induced a state of dissociation, with the 17 again noting that the experience often made him feel like he was "dying." However, he acknowledged a persistent attraction to the unconventional therapy, stating, "anything different is good."

While Perry likened taking ketamine to being hit with a "giant happy shovel," he highlighted the rough hangover and unpleasant aftermath that outweighed the initial positive effects.


What's the cause of Matthew Perry's death?

According to the report, Matthew Perry passed away from "the acute effects of ketamine," a powerful anaesthetic. The exact method of intake remains unknown. In addition to ketamine's acute effects, contributing factors in the FRIENDS actor's demise included drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the manner of death as accidental.


Prior to his passing, Matthew Perry had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy, reportedly as a treatment for depression and anxiety. The toxicology report emphasises that the high levels of ketamine found in postmortem blood specimens could lead to cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression, ultimately contributing to the tragic outcome.

Authorities discovered Perry's lifeless body in a hot tub at his Los Angeles home on October 28, 2023. Responding to a cardiac arrest call, first responders found no signs of foul play or drugs at the scene.


Published December 17th, 2023 at 09:08 IST