Trigger warning: drug use and addiction
Over two and a half years after Demi Lovato’s drug overdose nearly took her life, the singer is revealing the emotional and physical trauma she suffered in her new YouTube docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil. Lovato, joined by family and friends, reveals her various struggles and the events that led up to her overdose. Her loved ones who were by her side through it all share their reactions to the overdose and a detailed account of what exactly happened that day. The docuseries is free to watch on YouTube, and episodes one through three are available now.
On July 24, 2018, shortly after she celebrated six years of sobriety, the news of Demi Lovato’s overdose stunned the public. However, the severity of her condition was not publicized until now. As Lovato was finishing her "Tell Me You Love Me" World Tour in 2018, she had a new documentary in the works, but shooting ceased as soon as the overdose happened. When Lovato was ready to discuss the event on-camera, shooting resumed in Spring 2020, but as a new project. Clips of the original footage that made it into Dancing with the Devil are used to show Lovato’s emotional and physical state as she relapsed in 2018. The new details about the severity of the overdose unveiled by Lovato and her doctor are shocking, as is their realization that, had Lovato been in her unconscious state for five to 10 more minutes before receiving medical attention, it would have been fatal.
The detailed account of the morning of the overdose is told by friends and family in personal and emotional interviews. Lovato’s assistant, Jordan Jackson, describes entering her home that morning and finding her unconscious. The story is shown in an animated black-and-white sketch that draws the traumatic event in a subtle but descriptive way. This medium allows the audience to picture the morning’s events, but also understand the seriousness in the lack of reenactment. Family members’ and friends’ emotions are raw as they describe the shock and uncertainty they experienced as they waited for Lovato to regain consciousness, as she was an inch away from death. Their recollections of Lovato’s behavior days before the overdose are educational because they explain how mental health issues and addiction can be so easily hidden. They also explain the elevated danger when it comes to relapses and how individuals often increase or intensify their usage quickly, which is what had caused Lovato’s overdose.
Demi Lovato’s YouTube channel will continue to release episodes of the docuseries weekly. The episodes contain trigger warnings for the sensitive topics included and provide resources for people struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
By Katelyn Wiszowaty, A&E Editor