3 Times Demi Lovato Opened Up About Addiction
Demi Lovato’s heart-wrenching single “Sober” was released just over a month ago. Today, she was reportedly taken to the hospital for a heroin overdose, TMZ reported, and is now in stable condition, according to People. Unconscious when help arrived, Lovato was treated with naloxone (Narcan), an emergency medication that can reverse the effects of a narcotic overdose.
Earlier this year, Lovato celebrated her sixth year sober with a candid tweet.
Never one to shy away from speaking publicly about her addiction and mental health, Lovato has shared openly throughout her years-long sobriety journey.
Back in March 2017, the pop star posted a screenshot celebrating being sober for five years.
“So grateful,” she captioned the post. “It's been quite the journey. So many ups and downs. So many times I wanted to relapse but sat on my hands and begged God to relieve the obsession. I'm so proud of myself but I couldn't have done it without my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else who supported me. Feeling humbled and joyful today. Thank you guys for sticking by my side and believing in me.”
Lovato checked into a rehabilitation facility in 2011. Since then, she has used her platform to deliver honest messages about substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
In a candid interview with American Way in June 2016, she said she started binging when she was just 9 years old. By age 12, she was purging and also cutting her arms. Then in her teen years, Lovato's career took off—a starring role in the Disney film Camp Rock, a solo album, her own Disney sitcom—and the success was overwhelming. She began using alcohol, cocaine, and the opioid OxyContin. “I lived fast and I was going to die young,” Lovato told American Way.
Her turning point: punching a backup dancer in the face while on tour with the Jonas Brothers. Lovato left the tour to seek treatment, first for her bulimia and newly diagnosed bipolar disorder; then for her substance abuse problem. "Once I started eating again, the other issues got worse," she explained. "It was like whack-a-mole."
Through her music, she processes her personal strife in a refreshingly honest way. "I didn't go into treatment thinking, 'OK, now I'm going to be an inspiration," she said. "At times I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it's really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable."
Lovato’s candidness and bravery have not gone unnoticed by her fans and followers over the years. "I can’t tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts. They’ll tell me, 'You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,' or 'I got sober,'" the singer told American Way. "Hearing those things gave my life new meaning."
As we wait to hear more information about Lovato's condition, we reflect on the strength she has given others and encourage those struggling with addiction to seek help.