The “Friends” star had been receiving ketamine infusions regularly before his death, but the report noted that the ketamine found in his body came from elsewhereRead more…

Recent headline

In the wake of the tragic death of Matthew Perry, a spotlight has once again been cast on the complex world of psychedelic therapeutics, particularly focusing on Ketamine. This incident, headlined as a result of ‘acute Ketamine complications‘, echoes a pattern in the history of psychedelic substances, where personal tragedies have often led to widespread stigmatization, overshadowing their therapeutic potential. This pattern is not new; it finds its roots in the history of LSD, another psychedelic once touted for its therapeutic promise.

The journey of LSD from a promising therapeutic agent to a demonized substance can be traced back to a pivotal moment in history. A story, perhaps apocryphal, of a young man leaping to his death from a building while under the influence of LSD, became a symbol of the drug’s perceived dangers. This event, coupled with the cultural and political tumult of the 1960s, led to a significant shift in public perception. LSD, which was being explored for its potential in treating various conditions, including alcoholism (with proponents like Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous), was soon classified as a Schedule I substance, denoting high abuse potential and no accepted medical use.

The recent tragic incident involving Matthew Perry and Ketamine mirrors this historical pattern. Ketamine, known for its anesthetic properties, has emerged as a promising treatment for depression and chronic pain, offering relief where traditional treatments have failed. However, the media’s portrayal of Perry’s death risks simplifying a complex issue, potentially igniting a new wave of stigmatization similar to what LSD experienced decades ago.

Supervised vs unsupervised use

It’s critical to understand the nuances of psychedelic therapy and the risks associated with unsupervised use, especially when combined with other substances or in dangerous environments. The oversimplified narrative surrounding Perry’s death may hinder the progress of destigmatizing psychedelic therapies, including Ketamine, which has been gaining momentum in recent years.

This incident should serve as a reminder of the importance of responsible use and the need for a well-informed public discourse. Psychedelic substances like psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, and Ketamine have shown remarkable potential in treating mental health conditions when used under medical supervision. Their reemergence in scientific research and therapeutic settings is a testament to this potential, offering hope for more effective and compassionate mental health treatments.

However, the journey of these substances has been fraught with challenges. Their classification as illegal substances has not only stigmatized their use but also hindered scientific research and understanding. The therapeutic benefits of these substances, when used responsibly, are now being rediscovered, offering insights into treating conditions such as PTSD, depression, and addiction.

As we reflect on the legacies of those like Matthew Perry and the historical context of psychedelic substances, it’s imperative to approach this topic with a balanced perspective. The focus should be on scientific evidence, medical expertise, and responsible use, rather than sensationalism. This approach will not only honor the lives impacted by these tragedies but also pave the way for a future where psychedelic therapies are understood, respected, and effectively integrated into our healthcare systems.

Investigation facts

The autopsy states that Perry was on ketamine infusion therapy for depression. However, “the ketamine in his system at death could not be from that infusion therapy. His last ketamine infusion was 1.5 weeks ago, where the half-life is only 3 to 4 hours, or less. Read more…

His autopsy reported a lethal amount of ketamine mixed with the opioid-like drug buprenorphine in his body. The ketamine dosage is equivalent to the anesthetic concentration used in the operating room (OR). In addition, Perry had been taking Tammoxifen to lose weight, testosterone shots, antidiabetic medication and nicotine lollipops.

“In the bedroom, there were multiple open, empty, half-filled medication bottles prescribed to the decedent, as well as over-the-counter medications, vitamins, digestive aids and dishes filled with multiple various loose pills, tablets, caplets, candy and breath mints,” the report read.

Final thoughts

The tragic death of Perry is most likely due to overdosing on his many prescriptions. He is being prescribed oral ketamine by his psychiatrist and receiving Buprenorphine from either his primary care physician or a pain specialist. In addition, he is using nicotine lollipops and undergoing testosterone shots. The ultimate fear of physicians is to face allegations when medication is not used as directed by instructions. Despite our efforts to provide help, it may end up harming the patient if it is overused or abused.

All medications, including readily available over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, can be harmful without supervised use. Without rapid treatment, a very large overdose of acetaminophen can lead to liver failure and death within a few days.

The more complicated medications, such as those used in psychiatric and pain management treatment, undoubtedly require highly skilled and well-trained professionals for monitoring. In the event of lethal events, the public needs to be aware that we should not blame medications; instead, it is how people use them that causes the tragedy.

Another example….No one should assume that they can undergo anesthesia without the monitoring by an anesthesiologist, as it is a standard practice. The same principle applies to Fentanyl, which cannot be used safely without proper monitoring. Anesthesiologists use it for almost every case every day as it is an essential anesthetic medication for operations. In the case of overdosing from street Fentanyl use, it is not the medication that we should blame; it is the improper use by people.

The use of IV Ketamine infusion for depression is considered very safe and effective, likely explaining why Perry was receiving regular treatment. However, the tragic events unfolded is most likely due to his overdose on multiple prescribed medications, including oral ketamine. Once again, the issue lies in improper use, not the medications themselves.

Have Questions?
We’ll Reply Quickly.

  • Please use this form for general information purposes only. DO NOT send personal health information through this form. Specific patient care must be addressed during your appointment.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Call Us Text Us
Skip to content