Beloved ‘True Blood’ actor, Nelsan Ellis, passed away this week after complications related to alcoholism and drug addiction.
According to a statement released by Ellis’ family – via his longtime manager – the talented actor had been struggling with alcohol and drug misuse for years. They went on to explain that Ellis attempted to detox from alcohol on his own. It was ultimately complications from unsupervised withdrawal from alcohol that led to a number of symptoms which tragically precipitated his death.
His family requested that this be used as a cautionary tale for those considering detoxing themselves without medical supervision.
In an age where drug misuse absorbs media attention, complications arising from alcoholism are often overlooked or minimized. Detoxification from alcohol always requires professional supervision as the side effects may be life-threatening. Dangerous symptoms of withdrawal not only occur with prolonged users of alcohol, such as Ellis, but can present in people who have only been drinking a short while. When other drugs are involved in addition to alcohol, the potential for danger is multiplied.
Ellis’ manager confirmed the death for his grieving family and told The Hollywood Reporter that “during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.”
Ellis’ family bravely requested that this information be released in order to educate the public about the risks of withdrawal and encourage others to reach out for help when they want to detox.
“Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life,” said his manager’s heartfelt statement. “His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.”
If you or a loved one is struggling and considering detoxing, please seek medical assistance and treatment immediately. You can also call 911 if you have begun the potentially dangerous detox alone.