Autopsy results for Hawthorne Heights guitarist Casey Calvert, who was found dead on the band’s tour bus last month, were released today, with cause of death being attributed to “acute combined effects of opiate, citalopram and clonazepam intoxication.”
The autopsy listed Calvert’s death as accidental, though it added that it was brought on due to “substance abuse.” Both citalopram (also known by the brand name Celexa) and clonazepam (also known by the brand names Klonopin and Rivotril) are prescription drugs, the former an antidepressant and the latter used to treat seizure disorders and panic attack.
Klonopin and Celexa are definitely a powerful combination, but are still fairly routine in the treatment of anxiety/depression/existential angst/etc. The X-factor in the equation is of course the as-of-yet unnamed “opiate” which could be anything from OxyContin to Vicodin to Heroin, but the moral of the story is that Casey Calvert died from depression, or at least the drugs he used to try to treat it. Thus is makes it all the more fitting that the folks over at To Write Love On Her Arms, a nonprofit dedicated to combatting depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide, are currently offering a Casey Calvert Memorial Shirt, with 100% of proceeds going towards Casey’s family. RIP CASEY CALVERT
Photo by Zack Arias / Used Film
UPDATE: Hawthorne Heights bassist Eron Bucciarelli has just released a statement to Absolutepunk.net about today’s autopsy results:
From the time of the incident we suspected a possible drug interaction as the cause. Casey wrestled with depression for as long as we knew him. He saw numerous doctors and took an ever-changing array of medicines to get better. To our knowledge, Casey never knowingly took more than that which was prescribed. It’s a possibility that he mistakenly took too many of one medicine while under the affects of another. We shouldn’t even have to say this, but people’s minds will wander if we don’t…Casey never took anything illegal and certainly didn’t intentionally abuse anything that was prescribed to him.
What toxicology reports don’t show is that prior to us leaving for tour, Casey had a root canal, and was POSSIBLY prescribed some sort of opiate based painkiller (ie, Vicodin, Oxycotin, etc). We’re not certain of this at the moment and this report simply raises more questions than it really answers. If the opiate in his system was given to him due to his dental procedure, its safe to say there was a breakdown in either his doctors communications with one another in regards to Casey’s meds and/or the pharmaceutical databases should have red flagged a potentially dangerous drug combination. We stick by our initial statement. Casey was not involved in anything illegal and we don’t want his memory to be tarnished by this report. Please be respectful as we deal with this news.