Matthew Perry death mystery solved, autopsy confirms he had 'recreational' drugs - Hindustan Times
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Matthew Perry death mystery solved, autopsy confirms he had 'recreational' drugs

Dec 16, 2023 09:28 AM IST

ketamine found in matthew Perry's body.

While Matthew Perry's autopsy report revealed "acute effects of ketamine" as the cause of death, questions linger about the source and nature of his ketamine use. Dr. Bankole Johnson, a renowned neuroscientist, claims Perry may have obtained the drug illegally for “recreational” purposes.

(FILES) "Friends" actor Matthew Perry died as a result of "the acute effects of ketamine," the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's office said December 15, 2023. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP)(AFP)
(FILES) "Friends" actor Matthew Perry died as a result of "the acute effects of ketamine," the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's office said December 15, 2023. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP)(AFP)

“It is more likely this was recreational ketamine use,” Johnson told Page Six. He points out the potential dangers of combining ketamine with buprenorphine, a medication Perry was also taking for opioid addiction, calling it "a recipe for disaster."

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However, Perry's ketamine infusion therapy, used for depression and anxiety, was documented a week and a half before his death. Johnson emphasizes the importance of professional administration for safe ketamine use, highlighting IV drip for accurate dosage control and warning against self-administered intranasal methods.

ALSO READ| Ketamine found in Matthew Perry's system: What is infusion therapy and its effects?

“Intranasal use is generally less safe as it is often self-administered. This also can drive drug-seeking more aggressively.”

Perry's friend and ‘Friends’ co-star, Jennifer Aniston quoted to Variety, “He had quit smoking. He was getting in shape. He was happy — that’s all I know.…I was literally texting with him that morning, funny Matty. He was not in pain. He wasn’t struggling. He was happy.”

ALSO READ| What is Ketamine? 'Fatal’ depression drug found in Matthew Perry’s body raises question

Matthew Perry misused or illegally obtained the drug

Toxicology findings revealed significant ketamine levels in his system, exceeding the typical range for monitored surgical settings.

Further complicating the picture, Perry's death involved buprenorphine, which, according to Johnson, can amplify ketamine's sedating effects and lead to unresponsiveness. It basically works as a catalyst

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's report acknowledges ketamine's misuse for recreational purposes at parties and raves. However, it refrains from definitively stating whether Perry misused or illegally obtained the drug.

ALSO READ| Julia Roberts breaks silence on ex-BF Matthew Perry's ‘heartbreaking’ death

Johnson clarifies that ketamine is a scheduled medication prescribable by licensed doctors or nurse practitioners. He cautions against risky home micro-dosing, which offers limited effectiveness.

Perry's well-documented history of addiction casts a shadow on his death. His 2022 memoir ‘Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing’ details his struggles, including a near-fatal colon burst from opioid overuse and multiple attempts at sobriety.

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