Chris Cornell’s Prescription Drug Can Lead To ‘Amnesia Blackouts’

Rolling Stone have up a new article on the prescription drug that Chris Cornell was using prior to his death, Ativan. Read an excerpt below from the article:

Research has shown that benzodiazepines, like alcohol, can cause anterograde amnesia if a person takes an excessive amount of the drug. Anterograde amnesia – or what’s otherwise known as “blackouts” – is the inability to create new memories, meaning that the brain doesn’t record events as they happen forward in time. In other words: You lose chunks of time.

Similar to alcoholic blackouts, people experiencing anterograde amnesia from consuming too many benzodiazepines can engage in disinhibited and dangerous behaviors. That can include driving while intoxicated, committing crimes and even attempting suicide, Lee says. “We’ve seen a lot of people who had no [prior] disruptive behaviors have really serious consequences from their benzodiazepine use,” he tells Rolling Stone. “So it can be a serious problem.” (Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., which manufactures Ativan, did not return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.)

The experts who spoke with Rolling Stone noted that prolonged use or misuse of Ativan can exacerbate negative feelings in people with depression or a history of suicidal ideation (Cornell, a recovering addict, had been public about his issues with depression). Though rare, researchers have found a correlation between benzodiazepine misuse and increased suicide risk (a similar link has been with alcohol dependency). But it’s highly unlikely that Ativan would be the sole cause of a completed suicide, as suicide has no single cause, says Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chair of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and former president of the American Psychiatric Association.

If someone were to die by suicide during an Ativan blackout, he continues, they may have been dealing with underlying mental health…

Read the full article from the Source…

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