What We Can Learn From Demi Lovato

The world watched as Demi Lovato transformed from a Disney child-star to an entertainment superstar. Throughout the years, she was transparent about her struggles with an eating disorder as well as alcohol and drugs. Young fans idolized Demi for her personality, style and talent, while countless others in recovery viewed her as the personification of honesty, strength and courage.

The recent news regarding her drug overdose was tragic, yet in no way shocking.

Addiction is a horrific, brain-altering disease, which is precisely why permanent recovery is so very difficult to achieve. What’s more, relapse is not uncommon.

The over-riding hope for Demi Lovato is that she gets the help she requires and emerges from this unfortunate experience with regained health and a renewed commitment to her sobriety.

At Family Recovery Centers, our hope is that all parents realize that this woman is not that different from their own young sons and daughters.   Although her life is one of a celebrity, what led to her disorders and addictions as a teenager holds true for adolescents throughout Chicagoland. Addiction, whether to drugs, self-harm or food manipulation, is an equal-opportunity disease. It afflicts a high school basketball player or member of the student council as easily as it does an entertainer in the spotlight. 

It is important to fully understand that no young person ever starts out hoping to become dependent on any substance or behavior; in fact, the concept of future addiction rarely enters his or her mind. A teen turns to a substance such as marijuana or alcohol to ease anxiety or stress in the moment. Another engages in destructive behaviors like sexual acting out or self-sabotage due to feelings of inadequacy or as a way to cope with trauma.  While still another relies on stimulants such as Adderall to remain focused during study time and subsequently perform well on critical exams.

What begins as a choice, can eventually become a life-altering necessity.

In this one critical area, Demi Lovato IS every young person. She struggled, sought help and survived; and she will do so, again.