Understanding ketamine and the death of Matthew Perry
"Friends" actor Matthew Perry's autopsy report says his cause of death was acute effects of ketamine.
The drug targets a key chemical in the brain, which causes people to feel disconnected from themselves and their feelings. It has a history of being used in anesthesia for animals and people. It is also known for being as hallucinogenic drug.
In 2019, a version of the drug, esketamine, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat depression along with an anti-depressant.
Although published reports say Perry recently underwent a medically supervised ketamine treatment, doctors say to have a severe and sudden amount of the drug in his system suggests Perry took the drug without medical supervision shortly being getting into a pool.
The autopsy showed the overdose slowed down Perry's breathing. That combination with coronary artery disease and medication he was on for opioid use disorder caused him to accidentally drown.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can assist people would like help for their addiction. It's a free help line that can be reached 24/7 and is completely confidential.