Demi Lovato is getting more candid about her life journey than ever before. And that’s saying something for the Disney alum!
The singer appeared on the Call Her Daddy podcast Wednesday, touching on a wide range of topics, including the beginning of her struggles with substance abuse. During the conversation with host Alexandra Cooper, the now 30-year-old actress shockingly revealed she first started taking opiates when she was barely a teenager!
“I started experimenting for the first time when I was 12, or 13. I got into a car accident, and they prescribed me opiates. My mom didn’t think she would have to lock up the opiates from her 13-year-old daughter, but I was already drinking at that point. I had been bullied and was looking for an escape.”
Oh no! It can often be dangerous when accident victims get prescribed powerful painkillers like that. To know she was already into this kind of experimentation so young… just a recipe for addiction.
Demi explained once her mom realized just how many pills the Heart Attack artist took at the time, she grabbed the drugs and “locked them up.” But it wasn’t just opiates she was experimenting with back then. Alcohol was already a real problem. The Sonny with a Chance alum explained that during her teen years she “drank a lot,” taking her first sip of booze “alone” after stealing a beer from her stepdad’s refrigerator.” She noted on the podcast she realized now “ should have been a major red flag.”
Her heavy drinking progressed to heavier drugs. Demi recalled becoming addicted to cocaine in the later part of her teenage years. She eventually landed in rehab — something she felt was a “long time coming”:
“At 17, it was the first time I tried coke and, like, loved it too much and then kinda bled into me going to treatment right after I turned 18.”
In retrospect it shouldn’t be a surprise Demi got lost in drugs. Behind the scenes, it sounds like she did NOT have a half-decent support system.
The Camp Rock star claims her former managers took control of every aspect of her life during that time — deciding everything from what she ate and to what happened with her career. It exacerbated her eating disorder and eventually led to her near-fatal overdose in July 2018. She recalled to Alexandra:
“There was someone that came into the picture, and when they came into the picture, everything in my life was controlled. I started having a sober companion, which was helpful for me, but it should not have lasted three years. It became controlling around my food. And for someone in recovery from an eating disorder, that’s so dangerous. It actually exasperated my eating disorder to the point where I became bulimic again from 2016 to 2018.”
One night, Demi said, she even told her management team she binged and purged. But instead of getting her help, what did they do? She says they “barricaded” her in her hotel room so she wouldn’t be able to escape and get more food!
“I snuck out of my hotel room because they didn’t let me have phones in my hotel rooms because they didn’t want me to call room service. I didn’t have food in my hotel room, like, snacks in the mini bar, because they didn’t want me to eat the snacks. They barricaded me into my hotel room. They put furniture outside my door so I couldn’t get out and sneak out and eat if I wanted to. It was that level of controlling when it came to my food, which just made my eating disorder worse.”
What the actual f**k.
Things only worsened from there to the point that the SUBSTANCE singer began throwing up blood in 2017. When Demi asked for help at the time, she was denied by someone on her team:
“This person looked at me and said, ‘You’re not sick enough.’ And I think that was his way of saying like, ‘No, you’re not going back to treatment because if you do, this will look bad on me,’ so I didn’t. I didn’t go back into treatment.”
Less than a year later, she almost died from an overdose. Demi continued:
“I felt trapped. I felt like I couldn’t get out of this situation and my way of blowing everything up was relapsing on drugs and alcohol. They always said if you use, we’re out. And I was like, ‘All right, time to get out, bye.’”
Looking back on the situation, Demi thinks there was a “brainwashing element” to the whole thing, explaining:
“ totally under the impression that if I don’t listen to this person, who knows so much about recovery, I’m going to lose everything. And so you put all of your trust and your faith into one person and then from that, everyone around me listens to that one person and they go with it.”
Demi has learned from the nightmare of her youth, saying she is through with letting others have so much power in her life:
“I’ve learned a lot from that experience. Like, no one can control me anymore. I was under the control from 18 to 25 and those are years when you’re trying to figure out your adulthood. You’re no longer a teenager, but for some reason, I have people controlling everything I ate. My business decisions were always being made for me and now I’ve found my voice. No one can ever do that to me again and I feel empowered by what I went through because I had to grow and I had to learn to accept that I’m my own boss.”
We’re glad to hear that Demi is in such a better place after experiencing such a horrific situation. You can check out the entire interview (below):
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