Actress and singer Demi Lovato was hospitalized on July 24th, 2018 following an overdose after more than six years of sobriety. The pop star was 25 years old at the time and has battled with addiction and mental illness since a young age.
Demi’s first instance in rehab was when she checked into a Chicago area rehab in 2010 for addiction, self-harm, bipolar disorder, and bulimia. The singer would enter another rehab facility within a year of exiting the first treatment center.
Lovato has been an outspoken advocate for issues relating to mental illness, addiction, and self harm since her experiences in rehab. In 2017, she released the documentary “Simply Complicated”, which offered viewers a close up glimpse of Demi’s personal struggles with balancing work, life, and living with the dual diagnosis of addiction and bipolar disorder.
View the trailer to Demi's documentary "Simply Complicated" below:
The former Disney star revealed that she was celebrating six years of sobriety, but in June of 2018 released a single titled “Sober” addressing and confirming rumors that she had experienced a relapse. According to sources, Lovato had been having difficulties with her sobriety for months leading up the song’s release and overdose. Her song, “Sober”, included lyrics such as:
"I got no excuses / For all of these goodbyes / Call me when it's over / 'Cause I'm dying inside"
"Mama, I’m so sorry I’m not sober anymore / And Daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor."
"I'm sorry for the fans I lost / Who watched me fall again / I wanna be a role model / But I'm only human"
In the days leading up the overdose, Lovato was seen leaving a club with rapper G-Eazy, sparking questions about her possible relapse. In California, just two days prior to the overdose, Lovato forgot the lyrics to one of her songs. There was also the eventually confirmed rumor that Lovato had severed ties with her longtime sober coach Mike Bayer.
The Day of the Overdose
On July 24th, the day of the overdose, Demi Lovato was rushed to the hospital around 11:30 AM from her home in Hollywood. In audio of the call obtained by TMZ, the caller, identified as Demi Lovato’s assistant, alerted the dispatcher to the address and nature of the incident. It is unknown what substance Demi Lovato overdosed on, though we do know that Narcan was used to help revive her.
Narcan is an opioid antagonist used for reversing the symptoms of an overdose and saving the victim’s life. It is unclear if this emergency medication was administered by Lovato’s associates or if the medical dispatch team was responsible. Narcan is commonly used to treat opioid drugs such as OxyContin, Heroin, and Vicodin. That night, Demi’s representatives released the following statement:
“Demi is awake and with her family who want to express thanks to everyone for the love, prayers and support. Some of the information being reported is incorrect and they respectfully ask for privacy and not speculation as her health and recovery is the most important thing right now.”
According to insider sources close to Lovato, the singer had been distant from her friends and family and taken up with people that weren’t her true friends leading up to the event. The overdose reportedly occurred after a long night of partying with these people. After news of the overdose broke, fans, celebrities, friends, and family all showed an outpouring of support over social media and in interviews.
Below are just some of the out-pours of support from fellow musicians/friends:
Hundreds of thousands of fans also praised the star for her commitment to sobriety and the fact that she has a been a role for those suffering from mental illness, bulimia, self-harm and addiction. Her status in the entertainment industry has allowed her to become an important figure for victims of these ailments. However, such intense public scrutiny could have potentially lead to added stress that may have contributed to her relapse.
After some amount of public silence, Demi spoke out about the incident. In an Instagram post shared by Demi following her overdose, she expressed her thoughts over her own addiction, telling the world that she is ready to fight it for the rest of her life.
“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.”
“I want to thank God for keeping me alive and well. To my fans, I am forever grateful for all of your love and support throughout this past week and beyond. Your positive thoughts and prayers have helped me navigate through this difficult time.”
“I want to thank my family, my team, and the staff at Cedars-Sinar who have been by my side this 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. The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side.”
“I will keep fighting.”
Although Lovato has made a full recovery, she remained in the hospital for multiple weeks following the incident. Sometimes keeping someone on premise after an overdose can be helpful because it is a way to avoid another possible overdose.
After Demi’s hospital stay she entered an in-patient treatment center where she is currently residing. With the support of friends and family as well as the mending of the relationship between herself and her sober coach, Demi will hopefully make a full recovery and return to her work.
Demi Lovato is like any of the potentially hundreds of thousands of people living with bipolar disorder and addiction across the world. However, she is a public figure and is under intense scrutiny by the media and her fanbase, making the daily pressure she lives with that much more difficult to bear.
One of the hardest parts of relapsing is going through the shameful feelings and disappointment, but it’s still possible for anyone to get through it and remain sober. We hope that Demi Lovato will continue to be open and honest about her issues, using her pain as a positive force for helping others and herself to stay sober.
No one should have to go through drug and alcohol recovery alone. Demi Lovato is a fighter, and so is everyone struggling with addiction. Are you or someone you love ready to take the next steps and begin the road to recovery? Call Landmark Recovery for the support, treatment, and care you need in order to overcome addiction.