Demi Lovato Celebrates 5 Years of Sobriety


By Staff Writer

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In just over a decade, Demi Lovato transformed herself; she went from one of Barney’s innocent playground friends (2002), to one of Disney’s Camp Rock demigods (2008), to the sultry singer of “Cool for the Summer” (2015). The world is full of late-twenties “Lovatics,” which is what Demi calls her fans. However, the sort of stratospheric rise they witnessed from their favorite Disney poster child takes its toll, apparently.

American pop culture is littered with the stories of former child stars who battled addiction, even at the height of their fame. David Cassidy, Macaulay Culkin, Drew Barrymore, and many more—all have battled their personal demons, and Lovato is no different.

Well, maybe there is one important difference. It seems Demi Lovato learned the lessons of her addiction earlier than many other child stars. Although she’s only twenty-four years old, she celebrates her fifth “sober birthday” this week.

In late 2010, Lovato walked away from a world tour with the Jonas Brothers to enter treatment. The decision was precipitated by a violent exchange with a female dancer on tour; Lovato described herself during that period as “a nightmare to work with.” The much-publicized fight prompted her family to intervene and encourage Demi to seek help. Over three months of treatment, Lovato revealed she’d been battling eating disorders, as well as drug and alcohol addiction. She even admitted she’d gone as far as smuggling cocaine onto airplanes to continue her habit of using it several times per day.

Stepping from that sort of addiction into sobriety wasn’t like flipping a switch, and sober living certainly wasn’t a one-time success story for Lovato; she continued to battle addiction through 2012. She was even the subject of an MTV documentary on the subject. However, by early 2013, Lovato had made the decision to reside in an LA sober-living facility in order to better protect her sobriety.

Five years later, she told Entertainment Tonight her sobriety “feels amazing…It’s been quite the journey, but it’s well worth it.” That analysis seems accurate, as Lovato is back in the studio hard at work on new music; she’s also breaking into mainstream film—she voiced Smurfette for the recent movie Smurfs: The Lost Village and the character Lenore for the film Charming.

How did she do it? Lovato answers: “Surrendering is the most important thing…you have to admit that you have a problem” before you can overcome it.