Friends actor Matthew Perry died of Ketamine overdose

Friends Actor Matthew Perry Died of Ketamine Overdose:

Reports in the news indicate that Matthew Perry, renowned for his role in Friends, passed away due to the immediate impact of ketamine, a substance utilized in anesthesia and certain antidepressants. It’s known that individuals involved in substance abuse sometimes use it as a recreational drug for its psychedelic effects.

According to these reports, Perry had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy to manage depression, initially on an alternate-day schedule, but had recently tapered off the treatment. His final known infusion was approximately a week and a half before his demise. The Los Angeles County medical examiner suggested that a potential ketamine overdose might have led to “cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression,” especially considering Perry’s existing conditions of diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The drug could have exacerbated airflow obstruction and respiratory challenges.

What is ketamine?

In 1962, American chemist Calvin L. Stevens successfully synthesized ketamine in his laboratory. Originally employed as an anesthetic for animals and humans in the late 1960s, its utilization expanded to surgeries during the Vietnam War. Stemming from Phencyclidine (PCP), a hallucinogenic drug, ketamine operates by obstructing the NMDA receptor in the brain and spinal cord while boosting glutamate, a neurotransmitter. Essentially, this mechanism interrupts pain transmission in the spinal cord and triggers pleasure pathways in the brain, prompting its adoption in pain management. In recent years, its uplifting properties led to its exploration as a treatment for severe depression, offering promise in elevating patients from their lows.

Why is it prone to substance abuse?

This substance induces a “dissociative” state, leading individuals to experience hallucinations within an altered reality, akin to a high. This particular sensation is referred to as entering a “K-hole.” Due to its clear liquid form, making it difficult to detect, and its ability to be easily dissolved, even the white powder variation, it has unfortunately been utilized as a drug for date rape. Presently, it’s also accessible in the form of nasal sprays.

How does ketamine overdose impact the heart and other organs?

As a relaxant, it can hinder breathing, causing shallow breaths and potential lung collapse. This places added strain on the heart, accelerating both heart rate and blood pressure. However, compromised arteries may struggle to cope, resulting in heightened stress and a risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Additionally, it exhibits toxicity toward the urinary bladder and liver. Uncontrolled, elevated doses may induce schizophrenia and foster drug dependency. When combined with alcohol, as likely occurred in Perry’s situation, fatalities become more probable.

How is ketamine effective in depression?

Back in 2006, scientists at the National Institutes of Health made a groundbreaking discovery: they found that administering ketamine intravenously could swiftly alleviate severe depression, outperforming other available treatments. Fast forward to 2019, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its approval for a nasal spray, marking the first antidepressant derived from ketamine.

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