National Recovery Month: Demi Lovato encourages people who've relapsed to not be afraid to step towards recovery
September is National Recovery Month. The conversation around substance use and the mental disorders that follow has seen a massive shift, especially after public figures and celebrities have started speaking about their personal experiences openly, done with an aim to break down the stigma around the subject. While we talk about powerful voices that help encourage people struggling with substance use and spiraling mental health to reach out for help, one cannot negate the efforts of Demi Lovato. The singer is in a very happy space right now and we wish the best upon her. However, she's fought a tough battle with addiction, relapse, and overdose in the past. She's someone that has acknowledged her problem and sought treatment for her drug problem and all the other issues she deals with. She's been in the limelight since her teen years and while she is globally known for her Disney roles and music, she's also someone is known to use her voice to raise awareness and end stigma around mental health and addiction.
Demi relapsed after six whole years of being sober (her last brush with substance abuse before this was in 2012), on July 28, 2018, and was rushed to the hospital for an apparent overdose, according to a TMZ report. She then took to Instagram in the next month to tell her fans that she was seeking treatment again. She chose to stay away from social media and the public eye for a while and heal in private. In March 2019, she briefly made a return to Instagram to check in with her fans, give them a personal health update, and speak about her relapse. She hasn't resorted to victim mentality ever before. So when she came back to let in her followers on what was going on, she did so with a couple of messages via Instagram stories, the tone of it being responsible and full of self-respect.
"I don’t regret going out because I needed to make those mistakes but I must never forget that’s exactly what they were: mistakes," Lovato wrote on her stories on March 15 last year in reference to what transpired over the previous summer. "Grateful that AA/NA never shuts the door on you no matter how many times you have to start your time over. I didn’t lose 6 years; I’ll always have that experience but now I just get to add to that time with a new journey and time count."
She concluded her update with a word of advice for people struggling with addiction. "If you’ve relapsed and are afraid to get help again, just know it’s possible to take that step towards recovery," she wrote. "If you’re alive today, you can make it back. You’re worth it," Demi wrote in conclusion.
September 2020 marks the 31st year of National Recovery Month and with this column, we aim to tell the share the experiences of public figures and celebrities with mental disorders, with an aim to raise awareness and normalize asking for help.