Matthew Perry’s Cause of Death: ‘Acute Effects of Ketamine’

Matthew Perry

Friends star Matthew Perry passed away due to the “acute effects of ketamine” according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office's toxicology report. Perry died at home in a hot tub on October 28 at the age of 54.

As reported by Variety, Matthew Perry's death was ruled an accident, with no signs of drugs or foul play found at the scene. Other contributing factors included drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid abuse.

Ketamine is an anesthetic also used to treat depression and for pain management. Taken recreationally it is known as Special K, which puts a user in a dissociative state during which one feels detached from their physical body. A popular club drug in the 1990s, ketamine — especially in large doses — can produce a sensation users describe as a “K-hole,” during which someone will experience hallucinations in a dissociative state. Perry reportedly received ketamine infusion therapy to treat depression and anxiety, but Entertainment Tonight reports that his last known treatment was more than a week before his death.

Matthew Perry Spoke About His Struggles with Drug Addiction in His 2022 Memoir

Matthew Perry
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In Matthew Perry‘s 2022 memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, the actor opened up about his long struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. A year ago, Perry appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher to talk about his memoir. During the discussion, Perry admits to taking up to 55 Vicodin pills a day but said that he never intended to end his own life. “I never tried, but I did so many drugs at certain times that I knew that it could kill me … but I never wanted to die,” said Perry. “But the real thing for me and the troubles that I’ve had is that reality is an acquired taste. That’s what I believe. And I have had a great deal of time and a great deal of problems acquiring it, and it wasn’t until I became really safe, I felt really safe in my sobriety and really strong in my sobriety. And to tell you the truth, I am resilient, and I am strong.”

In a tribute to Matthew Perry, Variety chief correspondent  Daniel D’Addario wrote:

“His memoir, published just last year, describes his emerging from a childhood in which he abused alcohol into a TV set on which he was, often, in active crisis. Friends will always be alternately funny and heartwarming, to the many millions on its wavelength. The struggles that Perry went through in order to perform a character whose jockeying wit overlays clear sadness seem, now, all the more apparent.”

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer


Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.