Chester Bennington’s death came suddenly and surprisingly, and the details surrounding his passing, aside from the fact that it was determined to be a suicide, were scant. Now, though, TMZ reports that Bennington’s initial autopsy showed that he had alcohol and ecstasy (also known as MDMA) in his system when he hanged himself, but subsequent reports did not detect the drugs, and TMZ quickly updated their post to indicate that “the ultimate conclusion was Chester was not under the influence of drugs when he died. ”
The autopsy and toxicology results, which TMZ published in full aside from some redacted information, say that authorities found a prescription bottle of Zolpidem (a generic Ambien) on his dresser, along with a less-than-half-full pint glass of Corona and an empty bottle of Stella Artois.
However, if MDMA had been involved, it would not have been surprising. Psychologists have previously noted that people who use ecstasy are far more likely to experience depression than non-users. In 2003, Dr. Lynn Taurah, then a researcher at London Metropolitan University, told The Guardian:
“At first it gives you a surge of happiness, but after a day or two, and up to three weeks later, the user will have mood swings and feel low. In theory, it shouldn’t have a long-lasting effect, but our study showed that even those people who had stopped taking it had higher scores on the depression rating than those who had never taken it.”
Dr. Fabrizio Schifano also added, “We can no longer conclude that ecstasy is going to be safe. This new study confirms the other research showing that even a small amount has an impact. What no one can predict is what it will mean for the future. These clubbers may be 24 or 25, but how will their minds be affected by the time they are 55 or 60?”
It was previously reported that while Bennington had been in recovery for over a decade, he began using substances again towards the end of his life in what was referred to as “an hour-by-hour battle with addiction.”