It was May 18th of this year when fans, family, and friends, were shocked to find out that Audioslave and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell had committed suicide.
According to Michigan’s Wayne County Medical Examiner who released Cornell’s autopsy this week, “drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.” However, there were seven different drugs found in the rocker’s system including a high dose of Ativan, the anxiety medicine. The drugs in Cornell’s system were, “butalbital, lorazepam, pseudoephedrine and its metabolite norpseudoephedrine, caffeine, and naloxone.” The caffeine in his body was from No-Doz tablets that Cornell had taken earlier. Lorazepam is the other name for Ativan.
Theodore Brown, the medical examiner, stated, “It is my opinion that death was caused by hanging. Based on the circumstances surrounding this death and the autopsy findings, the manner of death is suicide.”
Brown said Cornell had been “found partially suspended by a resistance exercise band in his hotel room,” and that his injuries “were all consistent with hanging, partially suspended by the resistance exercise band.”
Cornell’s family believe the Ativan’s rare side effects contributed to the rocker’s suicide. The medican examiner has said the singer had 200 ng/mL level of Ativan in his body and that the blood levels of those whose deaths are linked to the drug have 300 ng/mL Ativan.
“Many of us who know Chris well noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind,” his wife Vicky Cornell wrote.
“Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back. We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy.”