A toxicology report obtained by TMZ indicates that Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell had multiple prescription drugs in his system, but they did not cause his death.
“These drugs did not contribute to the cause of death,” Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. Theodore Brown told The Associated Press.
Cornell was found dead of a suicide by hanging May 18 at the MGM Grand Detroit after Soundgarden performed at the Fox Theater earlier that night.
People reported that Cornell’s widow, Vicky Karayiannis, issued a statement following the release of the report.
“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 judgement seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind. 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.”
Cornell’s family previously disputed the report that the musician died of a suicide, saying in a statement that until a toxicology report was done, they could not substantiate “inferences that Chris knowingly and intentionally” killed himself. The Cornell family’s lawyer, Kirk Pasich, said in a statement that “without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris -- or if any substances contributed to his demise.
“Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages,” Pasich said. “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.”
The toxicology report found that Cornell had naloxone or Narcan; butalbital, a sedative; lorazepam or Ativan; pseudoephedrine, a decongestant; and barbiturates in his system when he died.
Naloxone is an injection or nasal spray used for emergency treatment of an overdose or possible overdose of a narcotic medicine, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Ativan, which is used to treat anxiety, is also used for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms or anxiety caused by depression, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Possible side effects include unusual mood or behavior and thoughts of hurting yourself.
Cornell was 52 years old.
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