Demi Lovato has been vocal about her years-long battle with addiction. The recovering songstress, who was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday, July 24, after reportedly suffering an overdose, has spoken candidly in the past about her journey, including releasing honest documentary Simply Complicated.
In the YouTube doc, the former Disney star, who started acting at a young age on Barney & Friends, admitted that she started using drugs in her teens.
“My first time doing coke, I was 17 working on Disney Channel, and I was with a couple of friends and they introduced me to it,” she said in the 2017 release. “I was scared because my mom always told me that your heart could just burst if you do it. But I did it anyways and I loved it.”
She also candidly spoke out about her father’s own addiction, revealing where her own demons stem from.
"My dad was an addict and an alcoholic," she confessed. "Guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family." (Demi’s father, Patrick Lovato, died of cancer in 2013.)
In 2011, Lovato sought inpatient treatment related to drug use for the first time and also lived in a sober house after seeking treatment in rehab.
“I was using while I had a sober companion and I went through like 20 sober companions,” she said in the film. “I was either craving drugs or on drugs. I was not easy to work with. It’s embarrassing to look back at the person that I was.”
Fast-forward to 2018 and the Grammy-nominated singer most recently revealed she’d relapsed in newly released single “Sober” after celebrating six years of sobriety.
“Mama, I’m so sorry I’m not sober anymore / And daddy please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor,” she sings in the ballad. “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.”
At the end of the track, Lovato concludes: “I’m sorry that I’m here again / I promise I’ll get help / It wasn’t my intention / I’m sorry to myself.”
Prior to releasing the track, the songstress celebrated her sobriety during a concert with fans.
"Yesterday, six years ago, I was drinking vodka out of a Sprite bottle at nine in the morning, throwing up in the car and I just remember thinking, 'This is no longer cute. This is no longer fun. And I'm just like my dad,’” she said at the time. “So I made changes in my life. The reason why I became so open about my story is because I know that there are people here tonight that need to ask for help and I want them to know that it's OK. Mental health is something that we all need to talk about and we need to take the stigma away from it. So let's raise the awareness. Let's let everybody know it's OK to have a mental illness and addiction problem. I'm bipolar, whatever. I take care of myself. I can never say thank you enough to you guys for the support that you've given me over the years. And you've forgiven me for my mistakes. So thank you for being a part of saving my life. I love you guys."
On Tuesday, her rep revealed that Lovato had indeed relapsed and is recovering from the reported overdose.
"Demi is awake and with her family who want to express thanks to everyone for the love, prayers and support," the statement read. "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."⠀
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).