Matthew Perry’s sudden death and subsequent findings by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has caused much debate in medical circles regarding the possible role of ketamine in his passing.

Dr. Zaid Fadul, an addiction medicine expert and Chief Medical Officer of leading ketamine therapy provider BetterU, during a recent interview with TMZ refuted the assertion that ketamine was the primary cause of Matthew Perry’s tragic and untimely death. Instead he asserts that attributing sole responsibility to ketamine would oversimplify things and could unfairly stigmatise potentially effective therapies for treating mental illnesses during a public mental health epidemic. 

Emphasizing the fact that all sedative drugs may cause similar side effects and citing evidence that Perry had used increasingly higher doses of ketamine before his death in a hot tub, Dr. Fadul raises questions as to whether it was being taken therapeutically or recreationally at the time of Mathew Perry’s death


First created as an anesthetic in 1962 due to its dissociative properties, ketamine’s potential use as an antidepressant was not seriously explored until 2000 when Yale University researchers produced groundbreaking evidence that intravenous doses could quickly alleviate depression symptoms compared to weeks or months for traditional antidepressants taking effect.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) studies confirm these results: 2006 and subsequent years showed that 71% of participants suffering from treatment-resistant depression (TRD) reported feeling better following intravenous administration of ketamine, suggesting its potential effectiveness against bipolar depression as well as suicidal thoughts.


Ketamine’s reputation has often been marred by misconceptions derived from recreational misuse and stigma associated with “counterculture” psychedelic use. In reality, when used responsibly, ketamine induces significant beneficial physiological changes within the brain by reinvigorating dormant neural circuits and increasing neuroplasticity – helping counter synaptic weakening associated with extreme stress or depression.

Matthew Perry’s death reveals the complexity and continued struggle surrounding mental health treatment and prevention efforts, including addiction prevention efforts. Research efforts aim to ensure ketamine and its derivatives, like esketamine, continue providing relief while revolutionizing treatment approaches for those struggling with mental illness conditions.

Why This Matters:

Matthew Perry’s sudden and tragic demise serves as an important reminder of life’s fragility, as well as of the complex nature of mental health treatments such as ketamine. It underscores the need to conduct informed discussions regarding such therapies.

What You Can Do:

Having conversations about the safety of ketamine, and sharing articles like this one, can help dispel myths and promote meaningful dialogue surrounding safe, effective, and accessible mental health solutions like ketamine.

Together we must strive to deliver greater outcomes for those experiencing the struggles associated with mental illness.

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