5 Lessons from Demi Lovato’s Relapse “It’s just a little red wine, I’ll be fine."

Demi Lovato’s latest album drops today with the haunting title track: Dancing with the Devil.

In just four minutes, the Disney star turned pop sensation chronicles the moments that led to her breaking six years of sobriety and how she “almost made it to heaven.” Whether the song reminds you of your own darkest moments or acts as a sign to stay the course, there are key lessons we can take from Demi Lovato’s relapse and recovery story.

Addiction is a Symptom

These four words are at the center of how and why The Hope House operates. Demi Lovato’s story only exacerbates the idea that in nearly every case of addiction we’ve seen, there is an underlying cause that stems from trauma, family history, or mental illness. In Demi Lovato’s case, that addiction-inducing trifecta was hit at a young age.

When discussing her overdose in a recent YouTube docuseries, Demi Lovato explained what it was like growing up with a father that struggled with mental health and addiction, how childhood abuse played into her own psychology, what role her bipolar diagnosis played in her addiction, and how sexual trauma in part led to her 2018 near-death overdose.

Recovery is a Lifelong Journey

“It’s so hard to say no, When you’re dancing with the devil”

In a world of instant gratification and quick fixes it’s easy to feel that 30 days in rehab is all one needs to “fix” their lives and for rehab to work. However, leading organizations on battling addiction comment that treatment “for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness.”

This is not to say that one needs to partake in inpatient treatment for the full 90 days, but that they need to work with a facility that understands aftercare and has case managers devoted to developing a holistic plan to keep you on the path to recovery for the next 90 days and beyond.

Addiction is a chronic illness and needs to be treated as such – with a comprehensive look at your lifestyle, what brought you to this point, and creating new habits to live a healthier life.

Relapse Happens

“I thought that I could walk away easily, But here I am, falling down on my knees”

As with any chronic disease, there are times when symptoms are non-existent and other times when they are disrupting your daily life. When looking at relapse rates across multiple diseases, you may be surprised to know that addiction actually has a lower relapse rate than most:

  • Addiction: 40-60%
  • Type 2 Diabetes: 30-50%
  • Hypertension: 50-70%
  • Asthma: 50-70%

Demi Lovato relapsed just two weeks after celebrating six years of sobriety. In her YouTube docuseries she describes how she was living a very restrictive life following a stay in rehab and had limited control over her life. This led her to drinking too much and eventually using a variety of drugs like cocaine, opioids, methamphetamines, and more.

Recovery Needs a Personalized Approach

“Thought I knew my limit, yeah, I thought that I could quit it”

While the post-rehab recovery plan her team followed was intended to benefit the singer, it ultimately acted as a trigger for hopelessness.

For some, submerging themselves in recovery, at least for a time, can be extremely beneficial. This is why inpatient recovery centers are a critical component of recovery, especially for those who experience opioid addiction in young adulthood. However, when your life upon discharge is solely focused on avoiding addiction, our minds will do what they do best – focus on it!

This is why constructing a plan that is as flexible as we are as humans is imperative to long-term success. For example, the case managers at The Hope House are trained to get to know their client, work with the clinical team to understand explicit triggers and the source of addiction, and then create a plan for long- term sobriety. For many just leaving inpatient rehab, this means stepping down to intensive outpatient therapy combined with sober living. However, based on your unique needs, this may mean finding a committed therapist in your area, helping you construct a plan to balance the stress of work and recovery, or locating mutual support groups in your area.

There is Hope

“Praying for better days to come and wash this pain away” 

It’s cliché — we know – but it’s true. Most any medical professional would have told you Demi Lovato would have died or been severely disabled following the heart attack and three strokes she suffered as a result of her overdose from opioids (fentanyl). However, she survived and has realized she needs a recovery plan more integrated with her daily life.

The same can be said for you. Whether you’re a mom thinking of their son who’s struggling with addiction or you’re in the depths of addiction yourself – recovery is possible and we’re here to help you.

You may trip along the way, but a quick look around you and you’ll realize so has everyone else in recovery.

If you need help finding hope, call our team at The Hope House. We will help you find the addiction treatment that works best for your individual needs and work to confront the underlying causes of your disease.