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In New Documentary, Demi Lovato Reveals Why Overdose Left Lasting Brain Damage

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Editor's Note

If you or a loved one is affected by addiction, the following post could be triggering. You can contact SAMHSA’s hotline at 1-800-662-4357.

Demi Lovato is speaking out, telling the story of the 2018 overdose that nearly took her life, and how her life has changed since. In a trailer for the new documentary, “Dancing With the Devil” Lovato shared that while in the hospital she experienced a heart attack and three strokes that have left a lasting impact.

The documentary is a four-part series being released on YouTube. It features a bluntly honest and vulnerable Lovato, along with her mother and step-father, sister and friends, including Elton John. “When you’re young, and you’re famous, my God it’s tough,” John said in the trailer.

In a phone call with reporters, Lovato shared that she’s been permanently affected by the strokes. “I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with the effects of that today. I don’t drive a car, because I have blind spots on my vision,” she said. “And I also for a long time had a really hard time reading. It was a big deal when I was able to read out of a book, which was like two months later because my vision was so blurry.”

Lovato told People that the physical and emotional consequences of the overdose now serve as a grounding point for her. “I dealt with a lot of the repercussions and I feel like they are still there to remind me of what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again,” she said. She told the magazine that what led her to her “breaking point” included “past traumas” and difficulties she dealt with in the music industry.

“I am holding myself accountable,” Lovato said on the call with news outlets. “I learned a lot from my past. I was sober for six years and I learned so much from that journey. That’s the main thing that I learned was coming forward and talking about my story held me accountable.”

Following the trailer’s release, fans and celebrities praised Lovato on social media for her strength and generosity in sharing her story.

“I can’t express the gratitude I feel for all the love and support I’ve gotten today,” Lovato wrote on her Instagram stories. “It’s still hard to feel worthy of so much love but I’m working on it and letting some of that love sink in makes this process so much easier.”

For more information and support for addiction, visit The Mighty’s addiction community.

Header image via YouTube

Originally published: February 18, 2021
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