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Lovato Documentary Highlights Dangers of Teen Addiction

Addiction and substance abuse

(Image credit: Jonny/ Flickr)

Demi Lovato. Child actress. Disney Channel star. Pop singing sensation. Hasbro spokesgirl. Joe Jonas’ girlfriend. Wilmer Valderrama’s girlfriend. X-Factor judge.

Drug addict.

In Simply Complicated, Lovato’s second documentary that was released in October of 2017, the 25-year-old sheds more light on her battle with substance abuse. Some of the most startling revelations include:

  • While filming her first documentary – 2012’s Stay Strong, in which she discussed her rehab and recovery from drug abuse and an eating disorder – she was still taking drugs even though she claimed to be sober.
  • Lovato first tried cocaine at the age of 17 at the suggestion of a popular classmate because she wanted to finally fit in after years of being bullied at school.
  • Her lowest moment came in 2012 when she decided to party in her hotel room before she had to leave to catch a flight and then vomited in the back of the car that was taking her to the airport.
  • She then got on the flight which took her to Los Angeles for her performance on American Idol, during which she was hung over.
  • Lovato became clean only after her management team threatened to part ways with her.

Simply Complicated is an hour and fifteen minutes long and can be seen on YouTube. For teenagers who watch the documentary, there are several valuable lessons that can be learned about addiction and substance abuse, such as:

1. Nick Jonas, the brother of Lovato’s boyfriend, attempted to help her kick her drug habit and thought he had been successful, but soon found out his efforts had failed.

Lesson: It usually takes (much) more than a single intervention from a single individual to help an addict attain sobriety.

2. The catalyst for Lovato’s first stint in rehab was being kicked off a concert tour with the Jonas Brothers after punching one of her backup dancers in the face. Lovato said she did it because the girl had revealed that the pop starlet had taken Adderall during a hotel room trashing-party.

Lesson: Once substance abuse reaches a certain point, addicts frequently make monumentally poor decisions which have major life ramifications.

3. For the first two months of her post-rehab recovery, Lovato still abused drugs on a daily basis. She snuck pills and cocaine onto planes and into bathrooms.

Lesson: As Lovato says, “I wasn’t working my program. I wasn’t ready to get sober.” In other words, recovery will not work unless the addict wants to change at some point during rehab.

4. Lovato became extremely difficult to work with, hired and fired twenty sober companions, and even did interviews about her sobriety while she was high.

Lesson: One of the biggest hidden casualties of substance abuse is the loss of respect from an addict’s peers, colleagues, and friends.

5. While she was a judge on X-Factor, the 19-year old Lovato stayed in a “sober apartment” without a phone and was supervised by two roommates who helped her stay clean.

Lesson: It usually takes a support network for an addict to get and stay sober.

6. Throughout her life, Lovato has battled not only addiction, but also bipolar disorder, self-harming urges, and an eating disorder.

Lesson: Substance abuse is very often seen in people who have other co-occurring mental health conditions.

7. After five years of sobriety, Lovato stumbled on her recovery journey in 2016 when she binged and purged for the first time in three years. She believes her eating disorder relapse was brought on by the end of her relationship with Valderrama.

Recovery is a constant fight – even after a lengthy period of success – because any major life event can potentially lead to a relapse.

Addiction and substance abuse

(Image credit: Jhon S. Rojas/Flickr)

Hopefully, Lovato’s documentary will help teenagers understand the difficulties and consequences of substance abuse. Perhaps they will be more able to spot the warning signs of addiction not only in themselves but also in their friends and peers. Most importantly, they will get the message that addiction can be conquered with the right treatment, support system, and attitude.

If you or any of your loved ones are abusing drugs and could benefit from substance abuse treatment, contact us to see how we can help.

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