Chris Cornell PCP & LSD Use Detailed In New Autopsy Special


Autopsy: The Last Hours of Chris Cornell is set to premiere on the Reelz Channel on Sunday at 9PM EST. Alternative Nation had a chance to view an advance copy of the episode.

Medical examiner Dr. Michael Hunter, who has performed 5,000 autopsies, discusses Cornell’s childhood and teen experimentation with PCP and LSD, and how it could have hurt him long term.

“LSD or acid is a psychedelic drug known for its psychological affects. Psychedelic drugs work by interfering with the brain’s serotonin and dopamine receptors, resulting in altered moods, and hallucinations. Effects can last as long as 12 hours. I can see that Chris also used PCP, also known as Angel Dust.

PCP and LSD do similar things to the brain, but LSD is a psychedelic drug causing the user to see shapes, patterns, and colors that aren’t there, while PCP is a dissociative anesthetic drug, which disconnects individuals from reality. In both cases, users can experience what is known as a bad trip. When feelings of euphoria change to feelings of extreme anxiety and terrifying thoughts. This can be very traumatizing, especially for a 12-year old.”

He later says, “Reports state that Chris suffered from agoraphobia, and this could well have been a result of his early experimentation with drugs. The use of PCP and LSD can cause a chemical imbalance in the brain, leading to a heightened stress response in certain situations, triggering a feeling of panic.”

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, a psychologist, says, “Agoraphobia is a fear of being out in open spaces, out in public. It comes from the Greek word agora, which means market place. It’s this worry that if I’m out of this small place I feel safe in, which is usually one’s home, then I’ll die, I’ll have a panic attack, I won’t be able to breathe, I’ll lose control. What happens is people tend to deal with this by avoiding.”

It is then mentioned that Chris said he gave up hallucinogenic drugs when he was 14. Dr. Hunter said despite quitting the drugs young, they could have had long term effects.

“I cannot underestimate the negative long term effects these drugs have on a young and developing brain.”

Cornell was taking the anti-anxiety medication Ativan at the time of his death, and told a friend in a March 22, 2017 email that he had relapsed. Vicky Cornell has said that the drug played a role in his death.

  • Lucas Santos


  • DC


  • Kay B

    I’ll be watching this Sunday night. This is a pretty good show. For the most part I have agreed with Dr. Hunter and his findings/explanations. We shall see if this holds true this weekend.

  • I H8 RotnLies

    And just because it’s on a tv “PROGRAM” everyone will believe this garbage… keep pushing your bs Vick. Bb., F U man. such a d#ck. Fk of_f. Y’all get rich from this shows episode and try and push Chris’s past into this mess?! If he did off himself, I don’t even blame him at this point. Everyone in his life was a fun LEECH!! I wish he could defend himself against this disgusting sewage, if I say more,…..?

  • Kay B

    Let’s just take a minute, get a tissue and…….

    • Olga Stewart

      And again, the tears come to my eyes.

      This was a great video.

      And thanks for posting it, Kay. :).

      • Kay B

        You bet.

  • Corndog

    I used to take a lot of LSD when i was a kid too. I have often wondered if it had any sort of lasting effect on me. I’ve read a lot about DMT over the last couple of years and it sounds like an amazing experience. I’d like to try that, but it’s not something that is readily available where i’m from.

    • Hutttrash

      Now I get why your so fucked up now. And that’s not what you think I think, it’s cause you stopped taking acid that’s fucked you & shit who knows, it maybe a contributing factor in suicides rates, can’t just dip your feet in the water, all or nothing. What I do know is, drop the minimum for maximum results when having a drink. You’ll never go down. And ya think your fucked up.

      • Corndog

        How do you mean ‘Now I get why your so fucked up now’?

      • Olga Stewart

        Your comment makes no sense.

      • Kay B

        You should try some grammar. You are about as useful as an asshole with taste buds. Who do you think you are?

      • Trovoid

        You’re fucked in the head. You have a weird obsession with Corndog. He said some really insightful things about drugs and you just attack him like that?

    • Kay B

      I feel like a weirdo. I have actually never taken drugs in my life. Pot maybe once or twice. But anyway I have the chemical image of serotonin tattooed on my arm and if you look at it and compare it to the chemical image of DMT it is nearly identical. I find that interesting.

      • Corndog

        I don’t think you have any reason to feel like weirdo. I imagine you’ve preserved considerably more of your brain cells that I’ve managed to over the years, and that is most definitely a good thing. When i was a kid i took anything i could get my hands on, but acid was always my favourite. I think i would still take it but it’s not so easy to get your hands on these days as the demand dried up so folks stopped selling it. I managed to get a hold of some about 10 years ago and took it over two weekends, for old times sake kind of thing, and i thoroughly enjoyed it, although i felt that it took more of a physical toll on me than it had when i was a teenager.

        Have you ever seen the pictures of the pineal gland (third eye) compared to the Egyptian eye of Horus symbol? I find the similarities very interesting indeed. They say that the pineal gland produces small amounts of DMT and it is crazy that the Egyptians appeared to be aware of that thousands of years ago. It’s amazing!! I would really love to try DMT, and it’s honestly not about getting high. You hear people describe it and it almost sounds like a spiritual experience of some description. They talk about being taken to a completely different, incredibly vivid, trippy looking place with lot of repeating patterns (think of Tool artwork, those pics are visual representations of things people saw while on DMT) and say that it feels like that is actually reality, and what we experience in day to day life is only an illusion. It’s described as a higher dimension of being. Very interesting that they all report seeing the same sort of thing, and encountering the same ‘entities’ while there. Terence McKenna called them ‘clockwork elves’. Some folks believe that it is the place where we go when we die. I’m not a spiritual person, and truth be told i don’t believe in life after death, but i find this all very fascinating and would love to experience it for myself. Unfortunately DMT is not something that you come across in N. Ireland. I understand that it is possible to make it yourself if you have the correct ingredients, but i’d be afraid of harming myself or worse. If it didn’t have a child i’d be willing to give it a go but i’d be afraid of something happening and leaving him alone with his horrible mother.

        • Kay B

          The Egyptians were amazing in everything they did. They knew math before everyone too. From building the pyramids to how they preserved the dead. There are youtube videos on a simulation of DMT. I obviously wouldn’t know if it was accurate. It does mention how things around you seam more “real”. It is always best to be careful though for reasons you have mentioned. I guess I have never tried drugs because I am such a control freak when it comes to myself. If I’m not in perfect control I go nuts. My little brother however did experiment in his college years and is now a very successful chemist go figure. He also has a tattoo of Anubis on his back holding an anatomical heart and a feather in each hand. I think the story goes if your heart is lighter than the feather you will go on to the after life. Something like that. Which we all know if a hard achievement!

          • Corndog

            The Egyptians really were a fascinating people, and i think a lot more sophisticated than our history classes in school would suggest. I’m not really one for travelling, but i would love to go and see the pyramids with my own eyes.

            I’ve watched a few of those DMT simulations videos on YouTube and they only piqued my interest more. It really does seem like it would be a tremendous experience but i don’t think that i will ever get to see it for myself as i just can’t get my hands on the stuff. I understand that there are ayahuasca retreats in that you can go on in south America though, so perhaps i may get to do that some day. Honestly though, i think i would rather have an experience like that in the relative safety and comfort of my own home. As you say, best to be as careful as possible. Have you ever encountered anyone that has take DMT in your work life? From what i can tell, so long as you’re sure you’ve got the correct stuff then it is reasonably harmless? I imagine there is the possibility of something like a bad trip if you weren’t mentally prepared for it, but i haven’t came across anyone that said the experience was a bad one. Do you think that it would be safe enough?

            I’ve never once felt in control of my life so that wouldn’t be an issue for me:) The reason that i take drugs is usually to get away from my life for a while. To stop feeling stressed and anxious, if only for a few hours. I like to mix cannabis and morphine and just feel numb for a while.

            Your brothers tattoo sounds cool! You’re quite right. Anubis was the god of the dead and the Egyptians believed that you appeared before him in the hall of the dead when you died. He weighed your heart against the feather and if it was lighter than the feather then you would have eternal life. If it was heavier, it got eaten by a crocodile demon and you then ceased to exist.

  • Just My Opinion

    Chris is gone and we will never know the depth of pain he endured before taking such drastic action. I miss him and his brilliant singing/songwriting, but it’s time to let it all go.

  • dmiller64152

    Sheesh, way to conflate cause and effect. Chris just as likely used LSD and PCP as a teen BECAUSE he was isolated and depressed. No one can say whether the chicken came first, or the egg.

    • makingconnections

      There are millions of people leading fairly fulfilling lives I would guess who took these drugs as teens. I once had a terrible episode with post-natal anxiety. The psychiatrist I saw asked me if I’d ever taken LSD. me…yes. He asked me if I’d had a good trip…me – yes…..he responded: “Well there you go, you’ll be fine.” I was fine in 6 months.

      I live near a medical center that is helping people with LSD therapy, although I realize that’s different than unsupervised use when you’re young. Still, I believe it was in Chris Cornell’s nature to struggle with his emotions and I agree with the Doctor here that perhaps the right medication could have helped. I also believed that he probably had take anti-depressants throughout his life and Ativan as well. Many people with sensitive emotions need to.

  • sharkguitar

    Yada, Yada, Yada….Thes medical examiner doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He must be trippin’.