On March 23, 2021, viewers got a deep and personal look into Grammy-nominated pop star Demi Lovato’s experience with addiction and recovery. The signer held nothing back in the first 2 episodes of their YouTube documentary series Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil. Lovato and their friends, family, employees, and even the doctor who worked on Lovato after their 2018 overdose spoke in the documentary, leaving no details out and nothing to the imagination. The series’ first 2 episodes previse a story that tells the real and ugly truth about addiction.
The first time Lovato tried cocaine was in 2009 at 17 years old, when she was working for the Disney Channel. “I was with a couple of friends, and they introduced me to it,” she said. “I was scared because my mom always told me your heart could just burst if you do it, but I did it anyways. And I loved it.” Lovato’s birth father was an addict and an alcoholic, and Lovato says she “always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol” because he chose those substances over his family.
Those with mental health disorders are much more likely to develop a substance use disorder than the general population. One study found that among those with bipolar disorder, 61% had a history of a drug or alcohol use disorder. Among those with schizophrenia, 47% have a serious problem with drugs or alcohol. Using substances to attempt to self-medicate is common for those with mental illness, especially if they do not seek out professional treatment. Due to Lovato’s father’s toxicity in Demi and Demi’s mother’s life, Demi had to create distance from him. This made his death a heartbreaking revelation when Lovato’s father died alone and his body was not found for a week and a half.