A History of Demi Lovato’s Long Battle with Addiction & Mental Health Issues

By now, you’ve probably heard the sad news about Demi Lovato. The “Sober” singer was rushed to a hospital in LA after an apparent drug overdose. TMZ reported Demi was given an emergency treatment for a narcotics overdose at her home after paramedics allegedly found her unconscious. It was initially reported that Demi had overdosed on heroin, but it has since been claimed that she refused to tell paramedics what drug she took. Thankfully, she’s in stable condition now.

The former Disney star, who had been six years sober before a relapse earlier this year, has struggled with drug, alcohol, and mental health issues for her entire adult life.

Here’s a look at her long battle with drugs, alcohol, and mental illness.


In her 2017 YouTube documentary Simply Complicated, Demi revealed that she began drinking after she was bullied in school, but first tried cocaine when she was 17 years old, while she was working on the Disney Channel show Sonny with a Chance.

“I was with a couple friends, and they introduced me to it. I was scared, because my mom always told me your heart could just burst if you do it, but I did it anyway. And I loved it,” she revealed, adding that her birth father was also an addict and an alcoholic. “Guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.”


The following year, Demi withdrew from the Jonas Brothers Live in Concert Tour to enter rehab for the first time, where she was treated for depression, bulimia, and drug and alcohol abuse.


Demi left rehab in January 2011 and later revealed that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “Looking back it makes sense,” she told People magazine at the time. “There were times when I was so manic, I was writing seven songs in one night and I’d be up until 5:30 in the morning.”

She also admitted that she did not stick to her program after leaving the treatment center. She was very hard to work with at the time and revealed that she went through 20 sober companions.


In a 2013 interview with Access Hollywood, Demi admitted that her drug use spiraled between 2011 and 2012, revealing that she couldn’t go 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine. She said it was during that time – when she was 19 years old – that she realized she needed to turn her life around

“I was going to the airport and I had a Sprite bottle just filled with vodka and it was just nine in the morning and I was throwing up in the car,” she said in her documentary. “I had a moment where I was like, ‘Oh, my God that is alcoholic behavior.’ [It’s] no longer, ‘I’m young and rebellious and having fun.’ ‘It was, ‘Wow, I’m one of those people, I gotta get my sh*t together.”

2013 – 2018

Demi moved into a sober living home in Los Angeles to avoid falling back into old habits. She was successful in staying sober for six years. It wasn’t an easy road to recovery, but Demi pushed through it. Earlier this year, Demi revealed on Instagram that giving up her eating disorder was the most challenging and that she works every day toward a full recovery even if it’s difficult at times.

March 2018

In March, Demi celebrated six years of sobriety, tweeting “Just officially turned 6 years sober. So grateful for another year of joy, health and happiness. It IS possible. 🙏🏼”

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

June 2018

In June, she released her song “Sober,” which explains that she may have relapsed. “Momma, I’m so sorry. I’m not sober anymore. Daddy, please forgive me, for the drinks spilled on the floor,” she sings. “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.”

Since then, there have been reports that Demi had gone “off the rails” and that she had distanced herself from her closest friends and the people holding her accountable with her sobriety.

July 2018

This brings us to what happened yesterday, July 24 – her drug overdose. Her rep later released a statement informing fans that Demi is awake and her family.

“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.”


We’re all hoping that the next chapter to Demi’s road to recovery is a positive one. We’re sending her all our love during this difficult time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.