Billy Sheehan on Chris Cornell’s Death: ‘The Pharmaceutical Situation in the World Is So Dreadful’
"I was quite angry about it," he tells Metal Wani (listen below), "'cause I do believe - and this is just one man's opinion - based on what I've seen in media…I believe his wife [was] bringing this up that the pharmaceutical situation in the world is so dreadful and so many people are dying because they mistakenly take two, or they forget they took one and they take another one, or they forget to take it and they go into withdrawals."
Cornell's death last month was ruled "suicide by hanging." More recently, toxicology findings have been released showing a multitude of prescription drugs in his system. Among them were Butalbital (sedative), Lorazepam (Ativan), Pseudoephedrine (decongestant) and barbiturates. He had apparently taken four 1 mg Lorazepam tablets. However, the autopsy report still ruled Cornell's death a suicide.
"When you see a warning on a pharmaceutical that says, as a side effect, ideations of murder and suicide, I would think twice before," Sheehan continues. "I just can't believe that stuff is on the market, and there's gotta be a better way. I'm not sure what that better way is, but we've got an amazing world with a lot of intelligent people and incredible science, there's gotta be a better way than these particular substances, which are just so dangerous. You accidentally forget and have a drink on top of it and you could die. And more people die now from pharmaceutical drugs, taken according to the directions, prescribed lawfully and legally, than traffic accidents. An amazing statistic."
"So I feel for [Cornell's] family and friends and fans. It's a terrible, unnecessary loss. And I hope…The only good that can come out of it is people stepping back and saying, 'We've gotta do something about this."
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