Demi Lovato has spent the last few years trying to be as open and honest as possible about her struggles with drug and alcohol addictions. She first entered rehab in 2010 after she punched Alex Welch, one of her backup dancers, during an altercation.
Since then, Lovato has released two documentaries focusing on her sobriety struggles, including 2017’s “Simply Complicated,” and her advocacy even won her the Spirit of Sobriety award from the Brent Shapiro Foundation.
Unfortunately, however, Lovato recently revealed that she had broken her six years of sobriety in her new song “Sober.”
The song references several of the recent struggles that Lovato has gone through, both things that have been public knowledge, but also issues happening behind the scenes as well. “Sober” implies that Lovato’s relapse has damaged her relationships with former friends, and notes her growing sense of isolation.
However, “Sober” also serves as an apology, not only to Lovato’s loved ones, but to herself as well. “I’m sorry that I’m here again / I promise I’ll get help / It wasn’t my intention / I’m sorry to myself,” she sings.
Although it was probably a difficult decision for Lovato to admit that she had broken the sobriety that she had worked hard to maintain and spoke so often about, it is incredibly important that she found the courage to open up about her relapse.
First, there is a stigma surrounding addiction and serious misconceptions about the morality of those who abuse drugs and alcohol. This means that it is already difficult for people to admit that they are addicts, something that Demi Lovato had to admit to in 2010.
And there is additional stigma or shame about admitting a relapse, as it is sometimes seen as a sign of “weakness” or “failure.”
But relapse is common in the recovery process, even after years of sobriety. Addiction is a disease, and just like with other diseases, symptoms can re-appear over time. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, relapse rates for addiction are between 40 and 60 percent, which is comparable to the rates for other chronic illnesses.
Lovato’s honesty about her recovery process is important because it is helping to destigmatize addiction. Being honest about all aspects of recovery, including periods where it is not going well, is a critical part of the recovery process because it creates a sense of accountability and responsibility.
And perhaps her willingness to be honest about relapsing will inspire others to be more open about their own issues with addiction. Demi Lovato has been willing to share a lot of information about her sobriety, and now she can use her platform as a means to encourage those who are experiencing a relapse to seek further treatment in order to get sober again.
Demi Lovato has always been a role model of mine, and so hopefully she will be able to get herself the treatment that she needs and inspire others to do the same.