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Nelsan Ellis: Another Life Lost to Addiction

Nelsan Ellis: Another Life Lost to Addiction

Another young life lost to the struggles with addiction.  In the excerpt below, Ellis’ father describes his son’s shame regarding his addictions, and his reluctance to talk about his situation.  We need to reduce the shame and stigmas attached to addiction and let those suffering know that there is help!

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Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis’ Family Shares Circumstances of ‘True Blood’ Actor’s Death

Nelsan Ellis, the actor who starred on HBO’s True Blood as the fan-favorite Lafayette Reynolds, struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years. That battle ultimately cost the 39-year-old his life.

Days after his death, Ellis’ family spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the exact circumstances around the beloved actor’s passing. Ellis died Saturday of heart failure. His death was met with a massive outpouring from friends and fans around the world, who were shocked and heartbroken over the news.

In an effort to help others who may be struggling with the same addictions that afflicted Ellis, his family released the following statement to THR:

Nelsan’s father, has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure. Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints 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.

On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul. He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him. 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.

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