Demi Lovato is taking a different approach to her journey with addiction and sobriety, and her friends are worried. Following her serious overdose in 2018, the 28-year-old singer reveals in her new YouTube docuseries, Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, that she’s not entirely sober. The series premiered at SXSW on Tuesday night ahead of its March 23 premiere on YouTube.
“I’ve learned that it doesn’t work for me to say that I’m never going to do this again,” Lovato admits, saying she’s “really struggled” with the decision to come forward with the truth that she’s not sober today.
“I know I’m done with the stuff that’s going to kill me, right?” she says. “Telling myself that I can never have a drink or smoke marijuana, I feel like that’s setting myself up for failure because I am such a black-and-white thinker. I had it drilled into my head for so many years that one drink was equivalent to a crack pipe.”
She went on to share that she’s “been smoking weed and drinking in moderation.”
She was hesitant to come forward with this after her overdose and years of being a role model for sobriety.
“I also don’t want people to hear that and think that they can go out and try having a drink or smoking a joint, you know? Because it isn’t for everybody,” she says. “Recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You shouldn’t be forced to get sober if you’re not ready. You shouldn’t get sober for other people. You have to do it for yourself.”
In fact, several of Lovato’s close friends spoke out against her decision in the docuseries, including Jordan Jackson, Lovato’s assistant, who was the person who found her following the overdose.
“It does kind of scare me now to know that she isn’t sober,” Jackson admits in the docuseries.
Elton John, who is famously sober after decades of substance abuse struggles, shoots down Lovato’s new lifestyle, saying, “Moderation doesn’t work. Sorry. If you drink you’re going to drink more. If you take a pill, you’re going to take another one. You either do it or you don’t.”
Even Lovato’s manager, Scooter Braun, is wary of her new arrangement.
“Demi knows the whole moderation thing isn’t something I totally agree with,” he says. “What I’ve learned with the whole addiction thing is if I push her to do what I want, I push her away. I can’t control her. What I can do is be a friend and hope that she’s right.”
Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil premieres March 23 on YouTube.
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