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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Medical examiner says medication didn’t contribute to Chris Cornell’s death

(Photo:  Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
(Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Rolling Stone reports that a Michigan medical examiner has released the autopsy report for Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, revealing that, while several prescription medications were in the singer’s system when he took his own life last month, in the ME’s opinion, “These drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.”


Cornell’s family has contended for several weeks that his death by hanging was influenced by the medication in his system. The coroner’s report listed several foreign substances in Cornell’s blood, including a quadruple dose of Ativan, an anti-anxiety medication whose side effects include suicidal thoughts. (Other substances include a decongestant and a large dose of caffeine, thought to have come from No-Doz tablets that Cornell was taking.) But the medical examiner found that, while the amount of Ativan in Cornell’s blood was high, it didn’t reach the levels typically associated with the drug’s suicidal side effects.

Cornell’s widow, Vicky Cornell, issued a statement in the wake of the coroner’s 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 judgment 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.