Demi Lovato’s battle with addiction has been no secret in the public eye. Her struggle first came to light in 2010, when she abruptly withdrew from the Jonas Brother’s concert tour to enter a treatment facility. At the age of 18, Lovato entered treatment for “physical and emotional issues” after a physical altercation with a backup dancer who she thought was telling her manager about her drug use. Lovato also revealed she was diagnosed as bi-polar and her past use of cutting as a way to cope with her emotional issues. Among that, she also struggled with an eating disorder that began before her teenage years.
Lovato was most recently hospitalized in July of 2018 following an unspecified overdose. Having previously been sober for six years, Lovato seemed to admit she had relapsed when she released her song “Sober” in June of 2018. The emotional track details lyrics like “Momma I’m so sorry I’m not sober anymore/ And Daddy please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor” and “To the ones who never left me, we’ve been down this road before, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore.” She also addresses her fans, singing “I’m sorry for the fans I lost, who watched me fall again/ I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human.”
Demi Lovato’s Past Struggle
Lovato first realized she had hit her own rock bottom at the age of 19, stating in an interview with Access Hollywood “I was going to the airport and I had a Sprite bottle just filled with voda” on the way to the plane to fly back to the sober living house she was staying at, “I had all the help in the world, but I didn’t want it.” She explained, “When I hit that moment, I was like, it’s no longer fun when you’re going it alone.”
Her struggles with the eating disorder started around the age of 8 or 9, sparking a range of physical and emotional disorders that may have impacted her alcohol and drug use. Demi’s mother also struggled with an eating disorder and severe depression, admitting she believes that some of her daughter’s struggles stemmed from her own behavior. When Lovato entered treatment, her mother also received her help for her own troubles.
Lovato’s co-occurring mental health disorders caused her to self-harm but cutting herself in an effort to cope. In 2012, she revealed to Self Magazine that prior to entering treatment in 2010, “There were times I felt so anxious, almost like I was crawling out of my skin- that if I didn’t do something physical to match the way I felt inside, I would explode”. “I cut myself to take my mind of that”, she explained, “I just didn’t care what happened. I had no fear.”
After the overdose that threatened her life in July of 2018, Lovato released a statement in a now-deleted Instagram post on August 5, saying “I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.” She continued, “I want to thank my family, my team, and the staff at Cedars-Sinai who have been by my side the entire time. Without them, I wouldn’t be here writing this letter to all of you. I now need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery.”
Demi Lovato spent close to two weeks in the hospital due to complications after the apparent overdose. The complications included nausea, vomiting, and high fever. She then entered an undisclosed inpatient facility to focus on her health and recovery. After completing 90 days of treatment, Lovato went back home in Los Angeles on November 7, 2018. According to People Magazine, sources say she then split time between her mother’s house and a sober living home. Sober living homes are great options for those who have completed an inpatient treatment program as they help transition patients back to daily life. While inpatient treatment programs provide the resources and tools needed for recovery, sober living homes reinforce these lessons.
Demi Lovato’s open struggle with her addiction demonstrates a certain level of strength and integrity that aids in recovery. The journey to recovery from addiction is ongoing, the road simply does not end after treatment. Being open and recognizing that addiction is an issue is a crucial step for many individuals, just as it was for Lovato. Lovato closed her statement on August 5 by saying, “I will keep fighting”– words that every person struggling with addiction should live by.