Just over a year ago, news outlets all over the world reported that popstar Demi Lovato was rushed to the ER due to a drug overdose. Just before noon on July 24, 2018, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a medical emergency at the singer’s home in Hollywood Hills. While the police did not initially confirm the identity of the patient, a representative from the LA Fire Department said that a 25-year old female was found unconscious and was transported to a local hospital. Lovato’s identity was later confirmed and she had to stay in the hospital as her overdose was apparently so severe that it caused several complications.
While initial stories supposed that Lovato overdosed on heroin, later reports said that the singer most likely overdosed from the opioid drug Oxycontin laced with fentanyl. Many street dealers often mix in the synthetic opioid fentanyl in order to strengthen its effects. If the user is unaware that the drug is tainted, this could lead to overdose.
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Demi Lovato is just one of the nearly 21 million Americans who struggle with addiction every single day. For those who are still fighting and aiming to achieve lifelong sobriety, here are some lessons you can learn from Demi’s ongoing battle.
1. Relapse can happen to anyone
Just because you’re a multi-millionaire international celebrity does not make you immune to drug relapse. Many people think that having a lot of money and fame is the answer to a lot of problems, including quitting drugs. How many times have you heard the line “If only I was rich, it will be the answer to all of my problems!”? Demi Lovato’s relapse is testament that you can be rich or poor, famous or just be an average guy, and still, you can be vulnerable to relapse.
Relapse can happen due to a wide variety of reasons that could act as triggers. It can be because of your job, your relationships, your own mental health issues, or as simple as the presence of alcohol or drugs. If you’ve experienced relapse, do not be scared to ask for help. According to Lovato, “…Just know it’s possible to take that step towards recovery. If you’re alive today, you can make it back. You’re worth it.”
2. Surround yourself with supportive people
A very important part of recovery is surrounding yourself with people who will support you in your journey and who will not tolerate your substance use in case you slip up. According to reports, the night before Lovato’s overdose, she was partying with a group of people and was overindulging in substances the entire night. These people were supposedly her friends but didn’t have her best interests at heart as they knew what could happen.
After her overdose, Demi was said to spend more time with supportive friends who motivate her and help her stay sober. It was actually the people closest to her who care about her that try to keep a close watch on her to keep her away from drugs.
3. Make recovery a priority
There are many excuses why people relapse – pressures from work, family problems, and difficult relationships are just a few of them. These are all unavoidable circumstances that every person in recovery has to deal with. It is however important to keep in mind that your recovery should be your utmost priority before anything else. When you are healthy and whole, you can better dedicate more energy towards your other pursuits whether personal or career-related.
4. Give yourself time to heal
Weeks after being discharged from the hospital, Demi was quoted saying “I now need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery.” This highlights that recovery does not happen overnight. You have to give yourself time to rebuild and renew. However, you also have to keep in mind that just because you’ve been sober for a long time, it does not mean that you are not vulnerable anymore. Lovato slipped up and had a relapse after six long years of being sober. According to the singer, she learned that addiction is not something that fades with time or disappear as it is something that she needs to constantly overcome.
5. Recovery is a continuous battle
One of the most inspiring quotes from Demi Lovato is this:
“Every day is a battle. You just have to take it one day at a time, some days are easier than others and some days you forget about drinking and using…”
There will be good days and bad days, and there will definitely be days where you’ll feel that you can’t take it anymore. This is part of the journey and you have to keep fighting.
6. Assume an attitude of gratitude
Lovato has always been vocal about being thankful to God for keeping her alive, her supportive family and friends, as well as her fans who keep believing that she is strong enough to overcome her addiction. She also thanked Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous for not shutting their door on her no matter how many times she had to start over. Assuming a grateful attitude is very important because it can help you recognize the good things around you. Oftentimes, people think that they are alone and unfortunate, when in truth, there are many things in their lives that they should still be thankful for. When you start counting your blessings, it could help you ward off feelings of depression and sadness.
7. Be optimistic
According to Demi, she looks forward to the day where she can say that she came out on the other side or the moment when she can finally overcome her substance abuse struggles. This optimistic attitude is inspiring because it only shows that the singer is not losing hope.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available. Contact Anaheim Lighthouse to learn more about our specialized programs.