Chris Cornell's Family Believes Anti-Anxiety Medication Played Role in Suicide

Chris Cornell's friends and family suspect a prescription he was taking is partially responsible for his suicide early Thursday.

The Soundgarden frontman was found dead in his hotel room following the band's show in Detroit Wednesday night. Officials ruled the death a suicide as Cornell apparently hung himself in his hotel room. 

As officials wait for a toxicology report, the Cornell family's attorney said in a statement that they are especially concerned with the amount of the prescription anti-anxiety medication Ativan in the singer's system.

“Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages,” Pasich said, according to UPI. “The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”

Cornell battled depression and substance abuse in his youth (particularly after Soundgarden broke up in the late-'90s). He had reportedly been sober for more than a decade.

The side-effects of Ativan include that it "can cause paranoid or suicidal ideation and impair memory, judgment, and coordination." 

Cornell's widow, Vicky, said she noticed when they spoke after the show that he was slurring his words, at which point he admitted to having taken more Ativan than prescribed.

“Chris’ death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled,” she added. “As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and, of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family.”

“He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do. When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different,” she continued. “When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him. … What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”

Photo: Getty Images

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