Understanding the Tragic Passing of Matthew Perry: Insights from the Toxicology Report

The sudden and untimely death of Matthew Perry, the beloved star of the iconic sitcom “Friends,” has left fans in shock and mourning. The recently released toxicology report sheds light on the circumstances surrounding his passing, revealing that Perry’s cause of death was the “acute effects of ketamine.”

The Unfortunate Incident

Matthew Perry, 54, was found unresponsive in the heated end of his pool at his home on Oct. 28. The autopsy report deems his death accidental, with no signs of foul play suspected. Perry’s assistant discovered him after returning from errands, pronouncing him dead at 4:17 p.m. Police reports indicate that Perry had gone out to play pickleball the morning of his death, and witnesses last saw him alive when his assistant left for errands.

Accidental Overdose: Ketamine’s Role

The toxicology report pinpoints the cause of death as the “acute effects of ketamine,” a powerful anesthetic with dissociative and hallucinogenic properties. Perry had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety, a treatment he had responded positively to for 19 months. However, trace amounts of ketamine in his stomach and elevated levels in his blood (3.54 micrograms per milliliter) suggest an overdose taken through an unknown manner.

Perry’s Struggle with Addiction

Matthew Perry’s battle with addiction was well-documented, even though he had reportedly been clean for 19 months before his passing. The actor candidly wrote about his struggles in his memoir, “Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing,” published last year. Despite his efforts to stay sober, the toxicology report indicates that the dark shadow of addiction played a role in his tragic end.

Ketamine: Medical Benefits and Risks

While ketamine has FDA approval as an anesthetic and shows promise in treating depression and anxiety under medical supervision, it carries inherent risks. Known for its dissociative effects and potential for hallucinations, ketamine is not without danger. The report underscores that Perry’s cause of death was not linked to his prior therapy but rather an unidentified method of ketamine consumption.

Legacy of a Friend

Matthew Perry’s legacy as Chandler Bing in “Friends” endures, and his passing serves as a stark reminder of the complexities of addiction and mental health struggles. In his memoir and past interviews, Perry advocated for understanding addiction as a disease and urged individuals to seek help without self-blame.


The toxicology report provides insights into the tragic end of Matthew Perry’s life. As fans mourn the loss of a beloved actor, the report underscores the importance of addressing addiction with compassion and the ongoing need for awareness surrounding mental health issues.

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