Matthew Perry denounced ketamine in his memoir, said it made him think he was ‘dying’



Matthew Perry wrote about the drug that contributed to his death.

Hours after an autopsy report revealed the actor suddenly died in October from the “acute effects of ketamine,” a portion of his 2022 memoir in which he spoke about his dislike of the anesthetic has resurfaced.

Perry, who died at the age of 54, revealed in “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir,” that he received ketamine infusions while in a Swiss rehab clinic during the pandemic.

“Ketamine was a very popular street drug in the 1980s. There is a synthetic form of it now, and it’s used for two reasons: to ease pain and help with depression,” he explained.

“There is a synthetic form of it now, and it’s used for two reasons: to ease pain and help with depression,” he explained in “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.” Getty Images
He wrote that he would “disassociate” during his infusions and even felt as if he were “dying.” REUTERS
Although he said the ketamine certainly helped short-term, the “hangover” it provided didn’t sit well with him. REUTERS

“Has my name written all over it — they might as well have called it ‘Matty’,” he wrote.

Describing the drug as a “giant exhale,” the “Friends” alum said he would receive ketamine while blindfolded and listening to music.

He explained that he would “disassociate” during his infusions and often felt as if he were “dying.”

His autopsy report, released Friday, revealed Perry died on Oct. 28 from the “acute effects of ketamine.” AP

“‘Oh,’ I thought, ‘This is what happens when you die,’” he recalled.

“Yet I would continually sign up for this s–t because it was something different, and anything different is good.”

Perry further explained, “Taking K is like being hit in the head with a giant happy shovel. But the hangover was rough and outweighed the shovel.”

Although he had been routinely receiving infusions, according to the report, a medical expert revealed to Page Six the ketamine found in his system was “likely” recreational. GC Images

“Ketamine was not for me.”

Perry’s toxicology report revealed that he had been getting ketamine infusions even after his stay in Switzerland, but that his last occurred about a week and a half before his death.


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The beloved “Friends” star openly struggled with sobriety over the years. TheImageDirect.com

The medical examiner specifically noted, though, that ketamine’s half-life is only three to four hours, making it impossible for his last transfusion to be a factor in his passing.

Dr. Bankole Johnson, one of the leading neuroscientists and physicians in the field, told Page Six exclusively Friday that the ketamine in Perry’s system was “more likely” for recreational use.

It’s not clear how he would have gotten his hands on recreational ketamine.

He is thought to have been sober for 19 months before his death. Getty Images

In addition to the ketamine, the “17 Again” star died of drowning, coronary artery disease and the opioid buprenorphine, his autopsy report also confirmed.

Perry — who had openly struggled with addiction for years but is thought to have been sober for 19 months before his passing — was found dead in his pool at his Pacific Palisades, Calif. residence on Oct. 28 by his assistant, who was out running errands for him.

He wanted to be remembered not as just a famous actor, but as an advocate for those who were also struggling.

He founded the Perry House in 2013 to help others with their sobriety, and had plans to launch a foundation for those struggling with addiction before his death.

Perry previously said he hopes to be remembered as someone who helped others through their addictions following his death. ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

His dream came to fruition days after his death when the Matthew Perry Foundation was launched.

“I would like to be remembered as somebody who lived well, loved well, was a seeker,” the actor noted in a Nov. 2022 interview on the “Q with Tom Power” podcast.

“And his paramount thing is that he wants to help people. That’s what I want.”

“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,” he added.



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