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Police Investigate Matthew Perry's Death for Possible Acute Ketamine Effects

Photo : AFP

Matthew Perry, beloved for his role as Chandler Bing on the iconic TV sitcom "Friends," was tragically found unconscious in the swimming pool at his Los Angeles home in October 2023. The actor, who passed away at the age of 54, had a well-documented history of struggling with addiction, including a dependence on ketamine and other substances. Despite being reportedly clean for 19 months before his death, the circumstances surrounding his passing have prompted a thorough investigation by law enforcement agencies.

Nearly six months after his untimely death, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration have initiated a probe to determine how Perry obtained the significant amounts of ketamine found in his system. According to sources cited by the Los Angeles Times, the investigation aims to uncover the origin of the drug and the conditions under which it was supplied to the actor.

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Perry's autopsy revealed ketamine levels in his blood that were comparable to doses used in general anesthesia. This high concentration of the drug led to cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression, contributing to his death. Additionally, the autopsy indicated that Perry's death was also caused by drowning, coronary artery disease, and the presence of buprenorphine, a medication commonly used to treat opioid addiction. Despite these findings, authorities have classified his death as accidental, with no evidence of foul play.

In the days leading up to his death, Perry had received a ketamine infusion treatment for anxiety and depression. However, medical examiners have noted that the ketamine found in his system was not from this medical procedure, as his last recorded treatment occurred more than a week before his death.

Ketamine, while used legally by doctors as an anesthetic and increasingly explored as a treatment for mental health issues, is also illicitly used for its numbing and hallucinogenic effects. Perry himself had been open about his battles with addiction, including his use of ketamine. In his memoir "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," he detailed his reliance on the drug, describing it as both a source of temporary relief and significant aftereffects.

"Has my name written all over it—they might as well have called it 'Matty'. Taking K is like being hit in the head with a giant happy shovel. But the hangover was rough and outweighed the shovel," Perry wrote, candidly sharing his experiences with the substance.

As the investigation continues, authorities are focused on identifying who provided Perry with the ketamine and under what circumstances. The aim is to piece together the events leading up to his tragic death and to understand better the factors that contributed to this loss of a beloved figure in entertainment

May 22, 2024 10:45 a.m. 466

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