The recent revelation that Matthew Perry, beloved star of Friends, died from the “acute effects” of ketamine has sparked discussions about the drug’s safety and its use beyond medical supervision. Here’s a closer look at the basics and potential risks associated with ketamine.
Matthew Perry was found dead at his home on Oct 28, 2023, with the medical examiner determining the cause as an accident. High levels of ketamine were found in his blood, leading to potential “lethal effects.” The actor had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy, but his last session was a week and a half before his death.
Ketamine, a legal medication primarily used as an anesthetic, has found its way into mental health treatments, particularly for depression. While intravenous ketamine has shown rapid antidepressant effects, the drug’s off-label use has become more prevalent, with clinics offering it as a treatment option.
In a medical setting, ketamine is generally considered safe, with healthcare professionals closely monitoring its administration. However, recreational use, especially in oral or high doses, poses risks. Ketamine’s dissociative effects, commonly referred to as a “K-hole,” can lead to impaired mobility and a heightened risk of accidents, especially in environments like hot tubs.
While the tragedy of Matthew Perry’s death underscores the potential dangers, experts emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy balance. Ketamine, when administered under medical supervision, can offer significant benefits, particularly for individuals resistant to traditional depression treatments.
Ketamine remains a complex substance with both therapeutic and recreational implications. As discussions around its risks and benefits continue, it’s crucial to approach its use with awareness, caution, and a comprehensive understanding of individual circumstances.