Matthew Perry died of accidental ketamine overdose, examiner finds

"Friends" actor Matthew Perry died from an accidental ketamine overdose, medical examiners said Friday, concluding their investigation into the death of the beloved but troubled TV star.

Perry, who played Chandler Bing on the hit TV sitcom from 1994-2004, died at the age of 54, having been found unconscious in a swimming pool at his house in Los Angeles in October.

He had struggled for decades with addiction to drugs, including ketamine, and related serious health issues, but had reportedly been clean for 19 months prior to his passing.

"Matthew Perry's cause of death is determined to be from the acute effects of ketamine," the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's office said in a statement.

"Contributory factors in his death include drowning, coronary artery disease and buprenorphine effects. The manner of death is accident. "

Ketamine is illegally used as a recreational drug for its numbing and hallucinogenic effects.

The drug can also be used by doctors as an anesthetic, and researchers are exploring its use as a mental health treatment.

Perry wrote in his memoirs of how he had relied on using ketamine daily at points during his battles with addiction. He said the drug eased his pain and helped with depression.

"Has my name written all over it -- they might as well have called it 'Matty,'" he wrote, of ketamine.

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

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