She’s going to change the world
But she can’t change me
No she can’t change me
These lines from the popular 1999 number “Can’t change me” aptly describes the life of its singer, late Chris Cornell. The world knows how he struggled with his substance use disorder, which ultimately drove him to take the extreme step as a he committed suicide about a year ago. However, the wife of the Grammy Award winner, Vicky Cornell, hasn’t given up yet. Though she couldn’t save Chris, now she has taken up the cudgels against addiction, which has been claiming thousands of lives every month in America.
In the memory of her late husband, Vicky recently launched an online platform to help people and families struggling with addiction-related problems get the much needed support. Since Chris’s untimely death, she has been quite vocal about her support for those dealing with addiction. “I’ve learned a lot since losing Chris, including the fact that addiction is a brain disease — a disease that is both preventable and treatable,” she said in a statement.
While she knows she cannot bring her husband back to life, Vicky says she would ensure that millions of families who have been affected by addiction receive the much needed help, and avert the horrific event that took away the life of her beloved. She was earlier associated with a hotline that connected those who needed to talk about their condition to appropriate health care personnel or peer recovery support. The couple had also established a foundation for homeless children in 2012 providing support to homeless and abused youth as well as kids of drug users, trafficking victims and young refugees.
What ailed Chris
Better known as the frontman of Soundgarden and former member of the band Audioslave, Chris was also a solo artist. However, his tryst with fame came with Soundgarden, a group that was a part of the same Seattle grunge scene as rock cult Nirvana, whose music dealt with pain, angst and rebellion. He was found hanging in the bathroom of his hotel room in Detroit on May 18, 2017, after performing in the city a day before. The singer was candid about his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, depression, panic disorder and agoraphobia (fear of heights).
According to Vicky, her husband’s suicide could have happened due to the drugs he took that fateful day. She believes it impaired his judgement. She said that Chris loved his life and did not intend to give up. According to her, the behavior of the singer had undergone a sea change after he was prescribed benzos for a shoulder injury. “He told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two,” she said talking about the day he died. He was prescribed Ativan to treat insomnia and anxiety.
In a conversation with Good Morning America, Vicky talked about the difference between the brains of addicted and non-addicted people. Her husband had relapsed despite taking drug abuse therapy at a good drug abuse rehabilitation center. In one particular week, Chris had taken 20 pills and then 33 in a nine-day period, she said.
Ativan not only colors the judgement-making abilities, but is dangerously addictive. It is labelled as a Schedule IV substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax are also being increasingly blamed for causing a new wave of prescription drug epidemic. It needs to be checked immediately and treatment is a crucial way to approach the burgeoning drug menace.
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