A few weeks after his death on October 28, Matthew Perry’s autopsy revealed Friend Icon’s cause of death at his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pacific Palisades. According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Department autopsy report, Perry died from the effects of ketamine, with factors including drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid use disorder, contributing to his death. Factors included. ,
It is unclear why Perry, who has long been public about his struggles with substance use, had ketamine in his system. The actor had undergone ketamine infusion therapy more than a week ago as part of his mental health treatment, but the drug could not stay in his system for more than hours.
What to know about using the drug Ketamine
Ketamine is a drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1970 for use as an anesthetic. However, in the 1990s, ketamine became a popular club drug, often referred to as Special K. It can be swallowed, snorted, or injected, and is usually sold in powder form.
Ketamine can cause hallucinogenic effects, as well as feelings of dissociation and euphoria. Although more research is needed on how ketamine works, it is possible that these effects come from targeting glutamate receptors in the brain, which can make new neural connections to the brain.
One of the side effects of taking ketamine recreationally is what is colloquially known as a K-hole. According to Verywell Mind, this is an intense feeling of dissociation that sometimes comes with intense and frightening hallucinations or delusions. Speech and walking ability are often affected. Taking ketamine too often or in too high a dose can cause heart problems, seizures, and cognitive problems.
How does ketamine therapy differ from recreational use?
Ketamine has long been studied for its potential mental health benefits, particularly in the management of treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation. In 2019, the FDA approved a nasal spray called esketamine, which is derived from ketamine, as a medication for depression that does not respond to traditional methods of treatment such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
Although ketamine is not approved as a treatment for any mental condition, ketamine clinics have opened across the United States to provide this treatment off-label. Typically, these clinics provide ketamine intravenously or as a nasal spray. In addition to a physician caring for his patients during treatment, the dosage is also low when it is given as an anesthetic or used illegally as a recreational drug.
Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Steven Levine, who developed the protocol for clinical use of ketamine in 2011, previously told Yahoo that ketamine helps the brain heal, change, and learn because of its effects on glutamate receptors. Can enable us to become more flexible. , This is important for people who suffer from depression or have suicidal thoughts, because they are stuck in negative thinking patterns and need help overcoming it.
“Only about 50% will respond to ketamine treatments, maybe 60 to 70% will have the lower bound of clinically meaningful outcomes,” Levin previously told Yahoo. “So a lot of people are not going to get that big of a benefit from ketamine. But I have seen people who were really at the end of their rope, who tried everything under the sun…people who really I believe there was nothing on Earth that could help them. I have seen some really amazing dramatic reactions.
Dr. Steven L., Founder and President of Ketamine Clinic Los Angeles Mandel previously told Yahoo that ketamine allows people to gain a different perspective on past trauma.
,[Ketamine therapy] Enables people to look at the incident with open eyes and have the courage to say, ‘What was my role in this? And did this happen? Or is this a story I’m telling myself about what happened?’ They can make sense, he explained. It allows them to let it be, stop fussing with it, and move on.”
Although more research needs to be done, there is growing evidence to show that ketamine may be a good option for people struggling with mental health problems. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in December 2023 found significant improvements in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.
Who’s Talking About Ketamine Therapy?
Perry writes about receiving ketamine treatment in her 2022 memoir friend, lover and terrible thingwhich focused on his battle with addiction.
is an artificial form of [ketamine] Now, and it is used for two reasons: to reduce pain and to help with depression. “Does it have my name written on it, they might as well have called it ‘Matty’,” he wrote. “Ketamine felt like a giant exhale. They brought me into a room, sat me down, put headphones on me so I could listen to music, blindfolded me and put in an IV.”
He’s not the only star to say he’s benefited from treatments. Chrissy Teigen, who talks openly about her mental health journey, recently shared that she underwent ketamine therapy on her birthday. Stars like Lamar Odom, who dealt with substance abuse issues, and Sharon Osbourne, who also praised the practice.
Reality Star Tyler Baltierra teen Mom Fame recently took cameras inside a ketamine clinic, where she received regular treatment. He told Yahoo that ketamine therapy allowed him to quickly reach a meditative place and it helped him stop intellectualizing his emotions.
“To be honest, it was a little scary to do it at first, but I was ready to dive into it, especially to do it with a physician and medical professionals involved. Ketamine was a very calming experience “, he shared. “After doing it in an entertaining way and learning so much about it, I felt like it was the best route to really get to the core of the issues I had.”
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