Demi Lovato’s Overdose Proves That Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate

On Tuesday, July 24th of 2018, I got a Breaking News alert on my phone that Demi Lovato was rushed to the hospital for an apparent drug overdose. As of this current moment in time, she is reported to be alive, breathing, and stable. Law enforcement officials found her unconscious in her home just around noon in Los Angeles, California.

Police originally alleged that she had overdosed on heroin. However, TMZ is reporting that sources close to the pop star say that she was struggling with alcohol, cocaine, and OxyContin addictions. Additionally, she has known mental illnesses that are exacerbated when you throw drugs into the mix. It has been confirmed that she was administered Narcan, a life-saving drug that typically reverses the effects of opioids and revives individuals. At this time, Demi is refusing to tell anyone, including the EMTs that saved her life, what drugs she took. The opioid antidote is becoming more and more popular in unconventional venues due to the opiate epidemic in the United States.

With no criminal investigation set to take place as of now, and no drugs seized from her home, it seems like the substance that caused her to overdose would be prescription painkillers. These drugs could’ve easily been legally obtained, but at this point it’s simply speculation. The singer reportedly wouldn’t cooperate with EMTs or disclose what drugs she took. Time may tell us, but she could be intentionally trying to keep the situation as private as possible, already anticipating the backlash that she’s undoubtedly already receiving.

This comes just weeks after the release of her new music video for the song, “Sober”, where she confesses to the world that she has relapsed and is off the wagon and promises to get help at the end of the emotional ballad. This all came right after magazines were reporting that she celebrated six years clean and sober in March of 2018. Ironically, I too wrote a blog around the same time cheering her on and discussing her successes in recovery.

The Stigma and Hate Already Spewing

It’s unfortunate that people don’t understand addiction. It’s even more unfortunate that the people who do understand are also already making jokes and memes at her expense. It takes me back to the days when Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan were on the cover of every tabloid with horrible titles and captions, making them out to be these spoiled monsters. It doesn’t help Demi. It doesn’t help the person writing nasty sentiments. It doesn’t help society as a whole, or the stigma against addicts.

Tuesday was a sad day on social media. It’s fairly safe to say that Demi Lovato is a household name. This is going to be harder than it is for most people to come back from judging by the comments that are already floating around. And so many of them are from members of our own recovery community. Perhaps it’s time for us all to take a look inside ourselves and recognize our own biases and prejudices.

If you’ve ever been to a 12-step meeting, you know all about the whole “chip system” (or key tags in other fellowships). In the chip system, a white chip signifies surrendering and admitting that your addiction is destroying your life. By “giving up the fight and picking up a white”, you’re making a conscious decision to quit drinking or using your drug of choice.

When someone relapses, they’re typically expected to pick up another white chip or key tag if they belong to one of these fellowships. If you’ve been in this position (which most of us have), you know that everyone is going to clap for you and hug you and put on a happy face. You also know that deep down half of the room is judging you and will gossip once you’re out of earshot. This is why is it is so important to have a good, solid sober support system.  

What Happens Next?

I don’t mean to write this with such a dark tone. While we should all be hopeful for Demi, Fox pulled an episode of a tv show she recently guest starred in, Beat Shazam, which was filmed last December and set to air Tuesday night.

I’m just worried about her. Me, a little writer who will probably never have the opportunity to meet her and talk to her. I’ve lost a disgusting amount of people that I care about this year alone. I wish more than anything that she pulls through this and doesn’t let it define her.

I often find myself wondering, “if any other medical condition or disease was killing people at the rate that addiction is, wouldn’t we be rushing towards answers and a solution?”. I now wonder if this is going to spark any progress in the government concerning the opioid epidemic. Until then, we must seek out the people who genuinely want to help us turn our lives around. It’s all in our hands.

If you’re reading this — you’ve already found a place that cares. You’ve found a place full of staff members who have been personally affected by their own addictions or the addictions of a loved one. Call Adolescent Growth now at 1-877-588-9668 to explore your options and start (or re-start!) your journey with people who genuinely care.


This is a developing story written on July 25th, 2018 and could potentially contain information that has been updated at the time of reading. As more information comes to light on this subject, we will publish new stories to keep you up-to-date.  

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