We are deeply saddened by Matthew Perry’s death. Our hearts go out to his family and millions of “Friends” fans globally—it’s devastating that someone who brought such joy could die so tragically.
As Nushama is committed to providing medically supervised ketamine-assisted therapy, we have always responded to questions and concerns regarding how to administer ketamine safely. This subject is our primary focus at Nushama and we published safety protocols for our members and community to learn about our processes, standards, and guidelines.
As a DEA-licensed facility, Nushama exclusively administers ketamine in-person at its Manhattan center under strict medical supervision. All who are treated with ketamine therapy pass a full medical and psychiatric intake to ensure they are a fit for treatment, screening for any contraindications or medications someone may be taking.
Regarding dosing at Nushama, people are given sub-anesthetic amounts of ketamine to stay conscious during their journeys for a therapeutic experience. Thus, the quantity Nushama prescribes differs greatly from the high anesthetic equivalent discovered in Perry’s bloodstream.
In contrast to at-home ketamine, which can be mis-dosed if someone uses more than the prescribed quantity, and potentially misused recreationally without a provider’s supervision, Nushama only prescribes ketamine onsite to align with its safety protocols and values for properly dosed, therapeutic use.
Nushama Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder Dr. Steven Radowitz was recently quoted in The New York Times, saying “No one goes home with ketamine… And that’s the way it should be.”
The above statement is in response to The New York Times’ reporting about Matthew Perry’s death:
Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home in Los Angeles on Oct. 28. He was 54.
The medical examiner’s office said that drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of an opioid, buprenorphine, had contributed to his death.
But the autopsy ascribed his death primarily to “the acute effects of ketamine.” Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that has become increasingly popular as an alternative therapy for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other hard-to-treat mental health problems. It is also used recreationally.
The autopsy report said that Perry had been on ketamine infusion therapy but that the ketamine in his system could not have been from his last known therapy session, which was about a week and a half before he died.
“At the high levels of ketamine found in his postmortem blood specimens, the main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression,” the autopsy report said. It noted that the level of ketamine investigators found in Perry’s blood was equivalent to the amount that would be used during general anesthesia.
The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert in October warning about the dangers of treating psychiatric disorders with compounded versions of the drug.