By: Vernesha Hazel
Less than two weeks ago on the morning of July 24, singer Demi Lovato was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after an apparent drug overdose. Fan or not of the former Disney star, her battle with sobriety and mental health are something that she’s been very open and honest with even releasing a YouTube Original documentary, ‘Simply Complicated’ where she discusses her struggles. Demi told Access Hollywood in 2013 that at her worst, she couldn’t go 30 minutes to one hour without cocaine and she would even smuggle it onto airplanes, “I would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there. I’d sneak to the bathroom and I’d do it… I had a sober companion, somebody who was watching me 24/7 and living with me [and] I was able to hide it from them as well”. She’s been very open about the incident that she considers her rock bottom that happened when she was only 19 years old.
Demi was sober for six years before she announced to her friends and family that she had relapsed through her art; She released the song “Sober” in June of 2018, less than two months before the overdose that landed her in the hospital.
“We’ve been down this road before/ I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore”
While there has been an outpour of support from celebrities, friends, fans, and well-wishers, some believe that there is somewhat of a double standard regarding how the public reacts to both celebrity drug abuse and “support” for people struggling with addiction in general, even comparing her overdose to celebrities with similar incidents.
“No disrespect to Demi Lovato, I pray she gets better, however, why is the narrative created that she is a VICTIM who needs overwhelming love&support, but Lamar Odom was perceived as a CRACKHEAD who spiralled out of control during his similar crisis? We have to do better ppl…
“demi lavato is only getting sympathy bc she is a gorgeous, white, pop star. lamar odom was shamed. katt williams was shamed. charlie sheen was shamed. dave chapelle didn’t even do drugs and was called a crackhead. foh asking me to “put yourself in demi’s shoes”
Those who agree credit a number of things including racism and white privilege to the reason public reaction to Demi’s overdose may have seemed different from that of other stars or even regular people.
Regardless, we wish Demi well, a thorough recovery and many more years of success. The entertainment industry, more specifically the music industry, has a drug problem. Until that issue is addressed with the same level of intensity as it is in the streets and with those who suffer from illegal substance abuse who are not wealthy, we will continue to watch stars lose their light and, as history suggests, lose their life.