The Illinois-born actor died at age 39 after four days in the hospital, according to the statement from his family.
The American Addition Centers says cutting off alcohol “cold turkey” should not be done without a medical supervisor present or it could cause health problems, even lead to death.
“Alcohol withdrawal can be fatal, as the brain and central nervous system experience a rebound after being suppressed by alcohol repetitively for an extended period of time,” according to American Addiction Centers. “Sudden removal of the central nervous system depressant can be life-threatening.”
Ellis’ family statement ended with: “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.”