Matthew Perry’s death under investigation for ketamine level

The Associated Press

Published Tuesday, May 21, 2024 5:37 pmEDT

Last updated Tuesday, May 21, 2024 6:16 pmEDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities have opened an investigation into how Matthew Perry received the supply of ketamine that killed him, police said Tuesday.

Los Angeles police are working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on an investigation into why the “Friends” star, 54, had so much drugs in her system. LAPD Capt. Scot Williams said in a statement. email.

An attendant found Perry, 54, face down in his hot tub on Oct. 28, and paramedics who were called immediately pronounced him dead. His autopsy, released in December, found that the amount of ketamine in his blood was in the range used for general anesthesia during surgery. He was listed as the primary cause of death, which was ruled an accident with no suspicion of foul play, according to the report.

Drowning and other medical problems were contributing factors, the coroner said.

The investigation was first reported by TMZ.

People close to the actor told forensic investigators that he was receiving ketamine infusion therapy. This decades-old surgical drug has seen a huge increase in use in recent years as a treatment for depression, anxiety and pain.

But the medical examiner said Perry’s last treatment, a week and a half earlier, would not explain the ketamine levels in his blood. The drug is usually metabolized within hours. At least two doctors were treating Perry, a psychiatrist and an anesthesiologist who served as his primary care doctor, according to the medical examiner’s report. No illegal drugs or paraphernalia were found in his home.

Perry had years of struggling with addiction dating back to his time on “Friends,” when he became one of the biggest TV stars of his generation as Chandler Bing alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer for 10 seasons. from 1994 to 2004 on the hit NBC comedy.

In other cases, drug-related deaths of celebrities have led authorities to prosecute people who supplied them.

After rapper Mac Miller died from an overdose of cocaine, alcohol and counterfeit oxycodone containing fentanyl, two of the men who supplied him with the fentanyl were convicted of distributing the drug. One was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison and the other to 10 years.

Two doctors and a representative of model and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith were charged with conspiring to obtain her prescription medications before her death in 2007, but were not charged with causing her fatal overdose. All charges except misdemeanor fraud against a doctor were eventually dismissed.

And after Michael Jackson died in 2009 from a lethal dose of propofol, a drug intended to be used only during surgeries and other medical procedures, not for the insomnia the singer sought, his doctor, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of manslaughter. involuntary in 2011. Murray has maintained his innocence.