Fans are sending Demi Lovato love and support after she was reportedly hospitalized following a possible heroin overdose on July 24. The pop star has been very open about her struggles with sobriety over the years, and we’ve compiled a list of her honest confessions regarding her battle with addiction, mental illness, and an eating disorder.
2011 — “It’s definitely going to be a struggle”
The songstress entered rehab to get the help she needed in 2011, and she was reportedly treated for bipolar disorder, bulimia, self-harm and addiction. Following her time there, Demi entered a sober living facility for a year. “I wasn’t going to continue to be alive if I continued to treat my body the way I was,” she told E! News at the time, talking about her struggles to eat and tendency to cut herself during times of distress. “It’s a daily journey and it’s definitely going to be a struggle that I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life,” Demi shared.
2015 — “The more honest and open I am, the more people I’ll be able to reach”
Demi later joined a positive campaign called “Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health” in 2015. The singer wasn’t afraid to get real while chatting about her journey with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. At the time, she was sober for three years. “I’ve been very open about my story. The more honest and open I am, the more people I’ll be able to reach,” Demi said, adding, “Mental illnesses are not talked about as much as they should be.” She explained how recovery is possible and revealed that her fans have been inspirations “to stay strong and sober.”
2017 — “I’m on a journey to discover what it’s like to be free of all demons”
The singer continued to share her truth in 2017, by talking about why she stopped drinking in her YouTube documentary Simply Complicated. She also confessed to using cocaine while filming her 2012 documentary. However, at that point, Demi was proudly sober for five years. “I’m on a journey to discover what it’s like to be free of all demons,” she said. Demi also chatted with People and explained how despite her progress, it was a daily battle. “Some days are easier than others, and some days you forget about drinking and using, but for me, I work on my physical health, which is important, but my mental health as well,” Demi revealed.
The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer even opened up about one of her darkest times during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show in 2017. “There were a few [interventions], but the final one, everyone was like, ‘We are no longer going to leave, we aren’t leaving,’” Demi said. “That was the moment when I thought, ‘OK, I really need to get help and get sober.’” She added, “One of the main reasons of getting sober was so that I could be around my little sister because my mom and dad [said I couldn’t be around her] if I was doing stuff.”
2018 — “I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human”
Just officially turned 6 years sober. So grateful for another year of joy, health and happiness. It IS possible. 🙏🏼
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) March 15, 2018
Demi eventually reached a big milestone by March 2018. Taking to Twitter, she wrote: “Just officially turned six years sober. So grateful for another year of joy, health, and happiness. It IS possible. ??” Sadly, Demi later admitted to relapsing at one point in her new song “Sober,” which was released in June. “Mama, I’m so sorry I’m not sober anymore / And daddy please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor,” she sang. “And I’m sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again / I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human.”
Psychologist Joe Schrank, of Remedy Recovery, spoke with us exclusively to help people understand more about addiction. “For most people, relapse is part of their recovery,” he explained. “The stakes are so high when mixing youth with opiate addiction. We need to think of addiction for what it is: a chronic, remitting health issue that can be managed but not cured. This young woman relapsing is not different than having cancer in remission and then the cancer comes back. She has been a great advocate for recovering people and this should in no way tarnish her efforts.” We hope she pulls through and comes out stronger!