Matthew Perry's cause of death officially revealed

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The cause of Matthew Perry's death has been determined.

On Friday, we learned that the veteran actor, best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the sitcom Friends, died last month due to “the acute effects of ketamine,” according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner.

Perry's death was ruled an accident, related to drugs and drowning.

As you probably already know, Perry was found dead in his hot tub on October 28…his body was discovered underwater by a housekeeper a couple of hours after the actor returned home from playing pickle ball.

Matthew Perry in 2012
Matthew Perry speaks onstage at the Go On panel during day 4 of NBCUniversal's portion of the 2012 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 24, 2012 in Beverly Hills. (Getty)

Based on this new report, we can confirm that drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine (a medication used to treat opioid use disorder) were also listed as contributing factors in his death.

Meanwhile, ketamine is a “dissociative anesthetic that has some hallucinogenic effects,” according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

“It distorts the perception of sight and sound and makes the user feel disconnected and out of control” and “can induce a state of sedation (a feeling of calm and relaxation), immobility, pain relief and amnesia.”

Because “high levels” of ketamine were found in Perry's blood, “the primary lethal effects” would be cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression (breathing too slowly or shallowly), the toxicology report states.

Matthew Perry in LondonMatthew Perry in London
Matthew Perry attends the London Evening Standard British Film Awards at Television Center on February 7, 2016 in London, England. (Getty)

Perry's death certificate previously indicated that no illicit drugs were found in the star's system.

The Emmy-nominated Friends star had a long and candid history of substance abuse, but had been sober for about 19 months at the time this tragedy occurred.

Autopsy says Perry took ketamine infusion therapyand his last treatment took place just “a week and a half before” his death.

However, the coroner noted that “the ketamine in his system at death could not have come from that infusion therapy, as the half-life of ketamine is 3 to 4 hours, or less.”

Matthew Perry poses for the cameraMatthew Perry poses for the camera
Matthew Perry attends Phoenix House's 12th Annual Triumph for Teens Awards Gala at the Montage Beverly Hills on June 15, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty)

Following Perry's sudden death, his longtime co-stars were among those who spoke out about the shocking loss, including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, who honored the late actor in a touching tribute.

“We are all absolutely devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just co-stars. “We are a family,” the Friends cast said in a joint statement on October 30.

“There is a lot to say, but now let's take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”

Since then, each actor or actress has issued their own moving statement.

Matthew Perry Red Carpet PhotoMatthew Perry Red Carpet Photo
Matthew Perry attends the GQ Men of the Year 2022 Party at The West Hollywood EDITION on November 17, 2022. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

As noted above, Perry spoke admirably about his struggle with addiction.

In his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, he chronicled his journey toward sobriety…along with the pride of staying clean.

“I wanted to share when I was safe from going back to the dark side,” he told People magazine at the time for a 2022 cover story.

“I had to wait until I was fairly sober (and away from the active disease of alcoholism and addiction) to write it all down. I was pretty sure he would help people if he did.”

Matthew Perry was 54 years old.

May he rest in peace.



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