Vicky Cornell, Chris Cornell’s Widow, Urges Congress to Provide Better Resources for Addiction Crisis

She's illustrating the effects of a much larger crisis

February 27, 2019
Chris Cornell, Vicky Karayiannis. Premiere Of Open Road Films' "The Promise" held at TCL Chinese Theatre


Addiction is a disease and an incredibly challenging struggle that’s often overlooked. Almost two years after the tragic death of Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell, widow Vicky Cornell is continuing to try and turn the loss into action.

Related: Brad Pitt to Produce Documentary About Chris Cornell’s Life

Appearing before the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force on February 25, Vicky shared the story of her husband’s death and how it relates to a much larger crisis.

“The part that hurts most is Chris’ death was not inevitable, there were no demons that took over — Chris had a brain disease and a doctor who unfortunately, like many, was not properly trained or educated on addiction,” Vicky explained, as reported by PEOPLE

Vicky used her personal story to urge congress to provide better resources for addiction, including integrating them into health care and better training doctors to help avoid another tragic loss. Along with the need for a better support system, she also stressed the need to erase the stigma and romanticization of “the need to hit rock bottom.”

Her testimony follows previous speculation from the Cornell family that side effects from a prescription drug worsened Chris’ depression, eventually driving him to take his own life on May 18, 2017. 

Mental health, addiction, and relapses are very real. You are not alone, and we understand. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression and thinking of suicide, know that someone is always there. Additionally, give a call to 1-800-662-HELP (4357), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's national helpline, at any time, any day of the year, and free of charge.

All RADIO.COM stations are committed to ending the stigma of talking about mental health. For more information and resources, visit