Nelsan Ellis “True Blood” Passed Over Weekend From Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

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Nelsan Ellis “True Blood” Passed Over Weekend From Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Nelsan Ellis, 39, of the popular TV series “True Blood” tragically died last weekend, July 8th, of heart failure after attempting to cut himself from off from alcohol. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are not often fatal, but in rare cases, can result in death.

Detoxing from a severe alcohol use disorder should never be attempted outside of professional detox facility or at least under the care of medical professionals.

Ellis’ family released a statement about his struggle with alcohol addiction, and on their behalf, his manager shared the details surrounding his passing with The Hollywood Reporter, and said that Nelsan had suffered from drug and alcohol abuse for years, and had done time in rehab.

“…Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, 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.”

She went on to say:

“Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul…Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.”

Ellis was known for his portrayal of well-loved character Lafayette Reynolds on “True Blood,” Bobby Byrd in “Get on Up,” a James Brown biopic, as well as many other roles.

About Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be mild (a hangover) or severe for those who have engaged in long-term, heavy alcohol use. Some of the most serious symptoms include delirium tremens, high blood pressure, seizures, and hallucinations.

Delerium Tremens is characterized by disorientation, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, agitation, and fever. These symptoms can last for days, and according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), about 5% of patients who suffer from delirium tremens die from complications, trauma, or infection.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

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