Michigan’s Wayne County Medical Examiner released the autopsy and toxicology report in the death of Chris Cornell Friday, with the coroner confirming that the manner of death was suicide and that “drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.”

“It is my opinion that death was caused by hanging,” Wayne County assistant medical examiner Theodore Brown wrote in his post mortem report in documents obtained by Rolling Stone. “Based on the circumstances surrounding this death and the autopsy findings, the manner of death is suicide.”

The medical examiner then reiterated the circumstances of Cornell’s death as found in the police report, which stated that Cornell was “found partially suspended by a resistance exercise band in his hotel room.”

The injuries sustained “were all consistent with hanging, partially suspended by the resistance exercise band.”

Additionally, seven different drugs were found in Cornell’s post mortem toxicology report, including a significant dose of the anxiety medicine Ativan. However, it is the medical examiner’s opinion that “these drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.”

The drugs found in Cornell’s system were “butalbital, lorazepam, pseudoephedrine and its metabolite norpseudoephedrine, caffeine, and naloxone.” The caffeine came from No-Doz tablets the singer ingested prior to his death, while the pseudoephedrine was employed as a decongestant.

Other prescription drugs included the sedative Butalbital, Narcan (“a narcotic antagonist”) and four doses of Lorazepam, which is known as the anxiety medication Ativan.

The Cornell family has previously blamed the rare side effects of Ativan – which includes suicidal thoughts – for catalyzing the singer’s death. However, the medical examiner noted that while the 200 ng/mL level of Ativan in Cornell’s blood was well higher than the average 30-50 ng/mL dosage, it was also lower than the 300 ng/mL Ativan blood levels of those whose death are tied to the drug.


6 Responses

    1. Very regretful indeed, as most likely this will nullify any insurance policy payouts to his family.

    2. I just don’t see giving someone whose mental state was as volatile as his all of those pills; kind of a prescribed speed ball which Chris seemed desperate to counter with his taking Narcan…I don’t know, I think he panicked completely and this was akin to him putting out a fire in his head….just sayin’…it’s horrible for Chris, the guy must’ve been in sheer agony. Maybe his ins. will cover by the way, a lot of policies don’t disqualify for suicide because it scared people off of getting it. I.e., ins. co.s don’t want people to think they will fight their claims left and right…so, the no suicide rule is just for the first two years. That way, a suicidal person will change his or her mind, and the non suicidal person will still get the policy knowing his or her claim won’t be denied by the ins. co. claiming it’s a suicide.

  1. Noone will ever know the real reason this man took his own life. He obviously had a lot of problems, including addiction and depression issues. As I have said in previous posts, my sympathy goes to the family, especially his kids. He was a hugely talented guy, and it is an unfortunate reality that the pressures of the music industry and the lifestyle that it encompasses sometimes results in people like Chris taking his own life. We have seen it happen many times before, unfortunately. The people that truly last in this industry (members of bands such as Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Sabbath, KISS, etc.) seem to have something within them that can overcome all of the negative aspects, even if they sometimes get caught up in them, and come out the other side. Sadly, Chris was not one of these people, and now he is gone. God Bless him and, especially, his family.

    1. I watched that Amy Whinehouse doc, and what an amazing talent she was, and also someone who was unpretentious. It seems that making it is the absolute worst thing that could’ve possibly happened to some people.

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