According to an autopsy report that was obtained by PEOPLE from the Los Angeles County Coroner, Matthew Perry had been “reportedly clean for 19 months” prior to his passing.
According to the article, the former cast member of Friends was undergoing ketamine infusion therapy at the time of his passing, and his final treatment took place “one and a half weeks before” he passed away.
The medical examiner stated that the actor from “Friends” had been open about his difficulties with addiction and had quit smoking prior to his death in October. However, it was ruled that “acute effects of ketamine” were the cause of his death.
However, the coroner pointed out that “the ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy, since ketamine’s half-life is 3 to 4 hours, or less.”
“Dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects,” is how the United States Drug Enforcement Administration describes ketamine.
The medication “distorts the perception of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and not in control,” in conjunction with “can induce a state of sedation (feeling calm and relaxed), immobility, relief from pain, and amnesia.”
As a result of the immediate effects of the medicine, the autopsy revealed that Perry passed away. There were a number of reasons that were identified as contributing to his death, which was determined to be accidental.
According to the coroner, his death was caused by “unknown route of drug intake,” and he was discovered unresponsive “in a residential pool.” His death occurred.
Despite the fact that there were prescription pharmaceuticals and loose pills found at Perry’s apartment, the autopsy revealed that there were “none reported near the pool,” and that there were no narcotics “found adjacent to the pool.”
It was also stated in the autopsy that there were no indications of any lethal trauma, and there was no suspicion of any foul play.
“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,” according to the report issued by the coroner.
“Drowning contributes due to the likelihood of submersion into the pool as he lapsed into unconsciousness.”
The body of Perry was discovered on October 28 in his residence in Los Angeles. He was 54 years old.
Over the course of his life, the star of 17 Again has been very open about his battles with being addicted to substances. In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, which was published in 2022, he discussed his experience with sobriety and the sense of pride he felt about remaining clean.
At the time, he stated to PEOPLE, “I wanted to share when I was safe from going into the dark side again.” this was his intention. In order to write everything down, I had to wait until I was free from the active sickness of alcoholism and addiction and had been sober for a considerable amount of time. I felt fairly confident that if I accomplished it, it would be beneficial to other people.
The late actor was in the process of making preparations to establish a foundation that would assist people who were struggling with addictions before to his tragic demise. Through the establishment of a foundation in Perry’s honor following his passing, his family was finally successful in carrying out those ambitions.
In the event that you or someone you know is battling with substance misuse, please call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.