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Matthew Perry Death Sparks DEA, LAPD Joint Criminal Investigation

Matthew Perry Death Sparks DEA, LAPD Joint Criminal Investigation

Six months after Matthew Perry’s tragic death sent ripples around the world, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration have launched a joint criminal investigation into how he died, the LAPD told The Hollywood Reporter.

The beloved Friends star died on Oct. 28 at 54 from the acute effects of the anesthetic ketamine, his autopsy revealed. “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 report, obtained by THR, stated.

The autopsy also listed drowning, coronary artery disease and buprenorphine (used to treat opioid addiction) effects as contributing factors to his death. It was ruled an accident at the time, with no signs of foul play.

But now, the LAPD and DEA are investigating how the actor came to have so much of the drug in his system and possession in general.

Perry had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy, which is said to help with depression, anxiety, PTSD, drug and alcohol problems, chronic pain and more. His last session had been a week and a half before he died. According to the autopsy, “the ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy since ketamine’s half-life is three to four hours or less.”

The 17 Again star had been candid about undergoing ketamine therapy in his memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, writing, “I often thought that I was dying during that hour. Oh, I thought, this is what happens when you die. Yet I would continually sign up for this shit because it was something different, and anything different is good.”

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He compared using the drug to being “hit in the head with a giant happy shovel” but noted the hangover from it was too much for him and “outweighed the shovel.”

The day of his death, Perry was found unresponsive and floating face down in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home and was given an initial screening by law enforcement. The L.A. County Medical Examiner’s office completed an autopsy at the time but listed the case as “deferred” on its site before taking it down completely and releasing the full report on Dec. 15.

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