Drugs Found in Late Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins' Body Explained

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was found dead last Friday in a hotel room in the Colombian capital Bogotá.

On March 26, the Colombian Attorney General's office released the preliminary results of a urine toxicology test revealing that the 50-year-old had 10 different substances in his body, including marijuana, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

The Colombian National Institute of Forensic Medicine is continuing to conduct the necessary studies to determine Hawkins' cause of death, according to the statement.

Colombian magazine Semana reported that Hawkins suffered a cardiac arrest after overdosing on antidepressants and heroin.

But what are the substances found in the body of the drummer and what could their potential side effects be?

Marijuana

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Marijuana contains hundreds of substances, including THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for many of the drug's mind-altering effects.

People can consume marijuana in various ways, including smoking the dried leaves, inhaling vapor containing the active ingredients produced by special devices, and eating food with the drug cooked into it.

The consumption of marijuana can result in a feeling of euphoria and relaxation, which is why it is a popular recreational drug. But it can also produce unpleasant sensations, such as anxiety, paranoia or trouble with thinking and solving problems, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA.)

Marijuana is often used for medicinal purposes to treat a range of symptoms and illnesses. While there are thought to be no reports of people dying by consuming marijuana on its own due to the drug's very low toxicity, in rare cases, its use can trigger acute psychosis.

Opioids (Heroin)

Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal substances such as heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and prescription pain killers such as as oxycodone, codeine and morphine.

Heroin is a processed form of morphine—a naturally occurring substance found in the seed pod of some poppy plant varieties, according to NIDA.

Heroin usually comes in the form of a white or brown powder that people tend to consume by injecting, although the drug can also be sniffed, snorted or smoked.

It is used recreationally for its euphoric effects, but the substance is highly addictive and people often develop a tolerance, meaning they need higher and/or more frequent doses to produce the desired effects.

This can increase the risk of a heroin overdose—a life-threatening and potentially fatal reaction to the drug that can cause the user's breathing to slow or stop.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a group of drugs first used to treat major depression. They include substances such as imipramine, amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, nortriptyline, protriptyline and trimipramine.

These drugs have also been used to treat a range of other conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and migraines.

While they were one of the first groups of antidepressants to be developed, they have largely been replaced for this purpose by other drugs that have fewer negative side effects and a lower risk of a dangerous overdose, according to the American Addiction Centers.

The side effects of TCAs may include anxiety, insomnia, drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, rapid heart rate, palpitations, excessive perspiration, abdominal cramps, nausea, constipation, weight gain or loss, tremors, difficulty urinating, sexual dysfunction and rashes.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are a class of depressant drugs that produce sedation and hypnosis and are used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizure disorders and some sleep disorders, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

They are only available legally through a prescription and include drugs such as Valium, Xanax, Halcion, Ativan and Klonopin.

Benzodiazepines, also known by their common street names "benzos" and "downers" are also used recreationally.

Benzodiazepines slow down the central nervous system and can cause sleepiness or a feeling of relaxation. However, overdosing on the drugs can be dangerous, resulting in extreme drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, decreased reflexes, respiratory depression, coma, and potentially, death.

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins
Taylor Hawkins attends the Los Angeles Premiere of "Studio 666" at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 16, 2022, in Hollywood, California. Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in the Colombian capital Bogotá on Friday. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic