La Semana


- Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta in Carlsbad, California; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O’brien

By Steve Gorman – LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Actor Matthew Perry died from the “acute effects of ketamine,” a sedative sometimes used to treat depression, with drowning and heart disease found to be contributi­ng factors, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s O ce reported.

The coroner’s autopsy report listed “the effects of buprenorph­ine,” a drug used to treat opioid use disorder, as a contributi­ng factor in Perry’s death, which was ruled an accident.

Perry, 54, best known for his role as Chandler Bing of the 1990s hit television sitcom “Friends,” was found lifeless in the jacuzzi of his Los Angeles home on Oct. 28.

Perry’s death came one year after publicatio­n of his memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” which chronicled his decades-long bouts with addiction to prescripti­on painkiller­s and alcohol, a struggle he said came close to ending his life more than once.

Ketamine, a short-acting anesthetic with hallucinog­enic properties, is used recreation­ally mainly due to its “dissociati­ve” nature, according to the medical examiner’s report on Perry.

“The exact method of intake in

Mr. Perry’s case is unknown,” the report said, adding that trace amounts of the drug were found in the contents of his stomach.

The ketamine in Perry’s system likely overstimul­ated his heart rate while depressing his breathing, and he would have lapsed into unconsciou­sness before his face slipped below the water in the hot tub, the report said.

Perry was reported to have been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety, but his last known treatment was a week and a half before his death, so the ketamine found in his system by medical examiners would have been introduced into his body since that last infusion, the report said.

Ketamine can induce a state of feeling calm and relaxed, relief from pain, and amnesia, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcemen­t Administra­tion.

Referred to as a “dissociati­ve anesthetic hallucinog­en” because it makes people feel detached from their pain and environmen­t, it can be injected, mixed with liquids, snorted as a powder, or smoked, the DEA says.

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