The death of a rock musician last month outside a popular downtown music club has been ruled an accidental drug overdose.
Casey Calvert, the guitarist of the band “Hawthorne Heights,” was found dead in the band’s tour bus outside the 9:30 Club just before the band’s show on Nov. 24.
The District’s chief medical examiner determined the cause of death to be “acute combined effects of opiate, citalopram and clonazepam intoxication.”
Citalopram (also known by the brand name Celexa) and clonazepam (also known by the brand names Klonopin and Rivotril) are prescription drugs. Citalopram is used to treat depression, and clonazepam is used to treat seizure disorders and panic attacks.
On the band’s blog, Drummer Eron Bucciarelli responds:
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.
The group has released two albums since forming in 2001 and has had several singles in regular rotation on MTV and VH1.
Calvert was 26 years old.