Matthew Perry’s Cause of Death Revealed: Actor Died From “Acute Effects” of Powerful Drug

Matthew Perry cause of death
Credit: NBC

On October 28, police responded to a 9-1-1 call made from the home of Friends star Matthew Perry. Perry’s assistant reportedly called emergency services after finding the actor in his hot tub and called, and said that Perry may have suffered a “cardiac event.” Unfortunately, paramedics were unable to revive Perry, and he passed away at the age of 54.

matthew perry

Credit: Warner Bros.

Perry had been very open about his decades-long struggle with drugs and alcohol. The initial toxicology reports stated that Perry did not have any fentanyl or methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death.

However, we have now learned that Perry died from the “acute effects” of another powerful drug — Ketamine. The Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s Office released its findings on December 15.

Matthew Perry Friends

Credit: Matt LeBlanc Instagram

Per CNN:

The report, released Friday by the Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s Office, shows Perry’s blood tested positive for ketamine, which is known to treat depression and anxiety.

“At the high levels of ketamine found in his postmortem blood specimens, the main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression.”

Matthew Perry

Credit: ABC

The report also states that Perry had been receiving Ketamine as a way to treat severe anxiety and depression. However, the amount that he had in his system was more than what should have been there from how long ago he had his last treatment.

The report further explains that ketamine has medical and surgical uses as an anesthetic and is also known as a recreational drug “mainly due to its ‘dissociative’ nature, indicating disconnection of mind and body. It can also have short duration hallucinatory and psychedelic effects.”

Perry’s last known treatment was a week and a half prior to his death, the autopsy states, well beyond the time it would still be in his system from the treatment.

Matthew Perry by Iris Orellana's

Credit: Iris Orellana’s via Flickr

The Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death as accidental, and listed contributing factors as coronary artery disease and buprenorphine — a medication used to treat those recovering from opioid addiction.

According to the Department of Justice, ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that has dissociative properties. That means that it can make people feel “detached” from their environment and any pain they may be in. It also has powerful sedation properties and can cause “immobility, relief from pain, and amnesia.”

Matthew Perry The Odd Couple

Credit: CBS

Just days after Perry’s death, his Friends costars released a joint statement, saying they were “utterly devastated” by the actor’s death. “We were more than just castmates. We are a family.”

Over his career in Hollywood, Perry starred in a number of films and television shows. He is most well-known for playing Chandler Bing in the hit show, Friends. Costar Jennifer Aniston said that she had texted Perry on the day of his death. She said that he sounded “happy and healthy.”

Friends Cast

Credit: NBC

In Friends, Perry also starred alongside Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow.

Perry’s stepfather — 60 Minutes host Keith Morrison — also took to X (formerly Twitter) to encourage followers to donate to the Matthew Perry Foundation. The Matthew Perry Foundation works to help treat those with alcohol and drug addictions.

What is your favorite Matthew Perry role? Let us know in the comments.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

One comment

  1. He did Not have any drugs in his system, where do you people get your lying stories from. Stop hurting people when they are dead! Do some stories on the poor workers at Disney getting underpaid and Iger getting richer!

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