During the Chris Cornell episode of “Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…” TV series – which premiered this past Sunday (August 12) on Reelz – there was a discussion regarding late Soundgarden singer’s struggle with alcoholism, which led him to enter rehab in 2002.
Dr. Michael Hunter said (via Alternative Nation):
“In interviews, Chris revealed that he started drinking at the age of 16, and his alcohol consumption became particularly heavy during his 20’s and 30’s.”
Evan Schiller, the drummer of ’90s grunge band Sadhappy, said:
“I think that the Grunge era was definitely loaded with a lot of alcohol, it was a part of the culture.”
Former Tad bassist Kurt Danielson said:
“It was all pervasive. It was everywhere all the time. We played our shows in bars, so there was drinking. When you tour, you tour from one bar to the next.”
Journalist Matt Diehl said:
“One thing that really surprised me interviewing Chris Cornell, is [that] he literally drank more than any human being I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I think we talked for about four or five hours, and I think he drank about a bottle of champagne per hour.”
Dr. Linda Papadopoulos said:
“Chris’ parents were alcoholics, so alcoholism addiction is something that he grew up seeing all around him. It’s very likely that a young child sees that as an appropriate way of coping.”
Near the end of the special, Dr. Michael Hunter stated he believed a combination of prescription drug issues and depression may have contributed to Cornell’s death, saying:
“His successful rehabilitation in 2002 and commitment to his family are testaments to his strength of spirit and desire to live a full and happy life.
“While Chris bravely faced a number of psychological challenges throughout his life, I cannot completely rule out his history of depression, along with the role of prescription medications, as being one of a number of factors which could have affected Chris’ thought process and decision-making.
“While it’s hard to know what exactly caused Chris Cornell to tragically take his own life, there is a chance his judgment may have been impaired, which increased the likelihood of self-harm.”