Vicky Cornell Claims Ativan May Have Been A Factor In Chris Cornell’s Suicide

Vicky Cornell claims Ativan may have factored into Chris Cornell’s suicide on Thursday

  • Cornell was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor at the MGM Grand Detroit

  • Vicky says that Cornell had taken Ativan on Wednesday night

  • Ativan’s more serious side effects include suicidal thoughts and thoughts of self harm

The world was shocked on Thursday when it was discovered that 52-year-old Chris Cornell had committed suicide. Cornell was midway through a tour with Soundgarden when the unexpected death occurred.

The Suicide

Cornell had played a show with Soundgarden earlier on Wednesday. According to Michael Woody, Director of Media Relations for the Detroit Police Department, a family friend called police at approximately 12:00 am.

When the family friend went into Cornell’s hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit, he found the singer unresponsive on the bathroom floor. EMS workers pronounced Cornell dead at the scene. Cornell had killed himself by hanging according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner.

Vicky Cornell’s Statement

Cornell’s wife Vicky and loved ones were shocked to hear of the unexpected death. It seemed highly unlikely that Cornell would hurt his loved ones by committing such a heinous act. A statement from Vicky on Friday morning may shine some light on the unexpected suicide.

Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. 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. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him,” she continued. “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.

While it is impossible to know for sure if any drugs contributed to the suicide until the toxicology report is released, the fact that Vicky mentioned Ativan should be noted.


Ativan (lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, and alcohol withdrawal. Common side effects of Ativan include drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, muscle weakness, headache, blurred vision, sleep problems, loss of balance or coordination, forgetfulness or amnesia, difficulty concentrating, nausea, constipation, changes in appetite, and skin rash.

Serious side effects of Ativan can include confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, hyperactivity, agitation, hostility, hallucinations, feeling light-headed, and fainting.

Benzodiazepines And Suicide

According to a study conducted by Lareb, “Benzodiazepines may cause disinhibition, consisting of poor impulse control and paradoxal reactions that may induce suicidal impulse. The release of aggression in susceptible patients may be directed towards others but could, especially in depressed patients, be directed towards themselves. However, it could also be that treatment with benzodiazepines may be inappropriate for patients with an underlying depression as they are central nervous system depressants and may worsen an underlying depression. Approximately 50% of suicides have a history of major depression and pre-existing depression is considered a major factor in suicides.”

Benzodiazepines and suicidal ideation and completed suicide by The Daily Haze on Scribd



About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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