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Authorities Are Investigating Where Matthew Perry Got the Ketamine That Led to His Death: Report

Law enforcement officials are reportedly investigating where Matthew Perry sourced the ketamine that played a part in his October 2023 death.

The investigation into Perry’s death was closed in January, but TMZ reported on Tuesday, May 21, that authorities are still attempting to determine where he obtained ketamine and under what circumstances. According to TMZ, both Los Angeles police and the Drug Enforcement Administration have been investigating the matter for months.

Perry was found unresponsive by authorities in a hot tub at his Pacific Palisades home on October 28, 2023. There were no signs of foul play at the scene. He was 54.

Two months later, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that Perry died from “the acute effects of ketamine.” The December 2023 toxicology report also listed drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine (which is used to treat opioid use) as contributing factors. The actor’s death was ruled an accident.

In his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry revealed that he’d undergone ketamine treatments “to ease pain and help with depression.”

Authorities Investigating Matthew Perry Ketamine Source After His Death 2
Matthew Perry Michael Kovac/FilmMagic

“Ketamine was a very popular street drug in the 1980s. There is a synthetic form of it now,” he wrote, noting that he would “disassociate” while receiving treatment. “Has my name written all over it — they might as well have called it ‘Matty.’”

Perry said he ultimately decided that “ketamine was not for me” because of the way he fell after treatments. “It was something different, and anything different is good,” he explained. “Taking K is like being hit in the head with a giant happy shovel. But the hangover was rough and outweighed the shovel.”

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Prior to his death, Perry was open about his struggles with substance abuse, particularly while he was starring as Chandler Bing on Friends from 1994 to 2004. In his memoir at length, Perry revealed that he was “completely sober” for only one season of the show. The late star often referred to season 9 as “the one where everyone was talking about Chandler” because of that fact.

Authorities Investigating Matthew Perry Ketamine Source After His Death
Matthew Perry Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

“You can track the trajectory of my addiction if you gauge my weight from season to season — when I’m carrying weight, it’s alcohol; when I’m skinny, it’s pills,” he wrote in his memoir. “When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.”

Before his death, Perry said he hoped to be remembered for helping people through their darkest times.

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“I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker,” he said on the “Q With Tom Power” podcast in 2022. “And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.”

He added: “The best thing about me, bar none, is that if somebody comes to me and says, ‘I can’t stop drinking, can you help me?’ I can say ‘yes’ and follow up and do it. When I die, I don’t want Friends to be the first thing that’s mentioned. I want that to be the first thing that’s mentioned. And I’m gonna live the rest of my life proving that.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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