Matthew Perry wrote about ketamine, which was determined to contribute to his death at the age of 54 in October, in his 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. He opened up about the treatments he was taking “to ease pain and help with depression” and admitted it had his “name written all over it.”
“Ketamine was a very popular street drug in the 1980s. There is a synthetic form of it now,” Matthew wrote in the memoir, Us Weekly reported. “Has my name written all over it — they might as well have called it ‘Matty.’” He referred to the drug as a “giant exhale,” and revealed he would “disassociate” while receiving the treatment.
Matthew also wrote about how he felt like he was “dying” when going through the ketamine treatments, but explained why he would “continually sign up for this sh*t” anyway.
“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. Ketamine was not for me.”
The toxicology report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner officially listed “acute effects of ketamine” as Matthew’s cause of death. It also listed drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, which is a drug used to treat opioid use, as contributing factors in his passing. His death was ultimately ruled an accident.
Family, friends, and fans were shocked when Matthew was found unresponsive at his Los Angeles, CA home on October 28. His cause of death was initially “deferred” due to the pending toxicology report and further investigation was requested. The Friends star was open about his struggles with alcohol and pills over the years and was reportedly “clean” for 19 months at the time of his death.
“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 about his time on Friends. “When I have a goatee, it’s lots of pills.”