Chris Cornell’s Widow Launches Addiction Resource Center

By Kelly Burch 04/27/18

The center will help dispel addiction myths, give families advice on making an action plan and provide a database of treatment resources.

Chris and Vicky Cornell

Vicky Cornell, the widow of rock legend Chris Cornell, who died by suicide last May after struggling with addiction, has launched an online resource and helpline for individuals and families grappling with addiction. 

Addiction Resource Center (ARC) For Chris is an online resource for individuals and families struggling with addiction, and the Addiction Resource Line (ARL), is a hotline that connects those in need with clinicians and peer recovery support advocates.

"Addiction is a preventable and treatable disease," Vicky Cornell said in a news release. "While it's too late to bring Chris back, it's not too late for millions of other people who are struggling with addiction. These resources are designed to connect people to the help they need—help that is often way too difficult to find—in the hope that other families are spared the loss that my family is experiencing. There is no better way to honor to Chris than by saving lives.”

Last May, the Soundgarden frontman was found dead in his Detroit hotel room. He had seven drugs in his system. Although the drug levels were not enough to have caused his death, Vicky Cornell said that the intoxication likely contributed to her husband’s suicide. 

"He wanted to be there for his family, for his children. He loved his life," she said at the time. “I don't think that he could make any decisions because of the level of impairment.”

Cornell had a long history of substance abuse, and had been sober for years. However, he relapsed not long before he died, his widow said in February. 

“Approximately a year before he died, he was prescribed a benzodiazepine to help him sleep,” she said. “He had torn his shoulder,” she added. “The pain in the shoulder was waking him up at night and it was keeping him up.”

The Addiction Resource Center For Chris and the Addiction Resource Line are both meant to help people with addiction access resources so that they aren’t left desperate and hopeless. 

"Only 11% of those with substance use disorder receive treatment. The ARC and the ARL are designed to change that," said Jessica Nickel, resident and CEO of Addiction Policy Forum, which partnered with Cornell to make the resources available. "By giving individuals with substance use disorder, and their families, a website to go to and trained professionals to talk to, we believe we can connect people to the help they need and save lives.”

The website is designed to help dispel myths about addiction, give families advice on making an action plan, and contain a database of treatment resources.

The helpline—1-833-301-HELP (4357)—is for individuals who are concerned about their own substance use or a loved one, and for family members grieving from an addiction-related loss.

It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, and is staffed by clinicians and peer recovery support advocates who provide information about addiction and recovery, and connect callers to local treatment and support programs.

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.