Matthew Perry's Death Under Criminal Investigation

The actor died from acute ketamine effects last year

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 21, 2024

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have launched a criminal investigation into the death of Matthew Perry, Variety reports.

The actor died on October 28, 2023, at his home in Los Angeles, with the autopsy report revealing last December that he died "from the acute effects of the anesthetic ketamine," in addition to the secondary factor of drowning in his hot tub. 

Coronary artery disease and buprenorphine, a synthetic drug used to treat pain and opioid use disorders (OUDs), were determined to be additional contributing factors. Perry had reportedly been clean for 19 months prior to his death, which was ruled an accident.

Further investigations indicate that the case wasn't quite so open-and-shut. The DEA and LAPD are now trying to determine where the Friends star got the ketamine, as well as how so much of it got into his system. 

Perry had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy to treat depression and anxiety prior to his overdose. However, his last treatment had been more than a week before he died, thus the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner was able to conclude that the ketamine in the actor's system wasn't from the treatment. 

"At the high levels of ketamine found in his postmortem blood specimens, the main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression," the toxicology report read.

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