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The reports on Wednesday (July 24) that pop singer Demi Lovato has been hospitalised for a drug overdose highlights her long struggle with addiction.

According to TMZ, the overdose took place in her house in Hollywood and that medical staff had to treat her with Narcan, described as “an emergency treatment for narcotic overdoses”.

While her spokesman told American network NBC that she is currently “awake and with her family who want to express thanks to everyone for the love, prayers and support”, it was only four months earlier, in March, that the 25-year-old former child star celebrated six years of sobriety.

“So grateful for another year of joy, health and happiness. It IS possible,” she tweeted then.

Yet, her latest single released in June, Sober, revealed that all was not well and that she had suffered a relapse. “Momma, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore/And daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor/To the ones who never left me, we’ve been down this road before,” she sang in the chorus.

The Disney star, who found fame through the network’s television films Camp Rock (2008) and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010), has always been candid about her personal problems. In a 2011 interview with American network ABC, she spoke about being bullied as a child. The bullying led to depression, an eating disorder and an addiction to alcohol and drugs.

A year earlier, Lovato had to pull out from a tour with fellow Disney stars Jonas Brothers and enter rehabilitation, at the age of 18, after she punched her backup dancer. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder then.

In a documentary released on YouTube in 2017, Simply Complicated, Lovato revealed that she still struggled with alcoholism and a cocaine addiction even after that stint.

“I wasn’t working my programme, I wasn’t ready to get sober,” she said. “I was sneaking [COCAINE]it on planes. I was sneaking it in bathrooms, sneaking it throughout the night.”

She added: “I went on a bender of, like, two months where I was using daily.” She resumed treatment after her management threatened to leave her.

The singer also revealed in the documentary that she started using cocaine at the age of 17 and that her estranged father, who died of cancer in 2013, was also an addict and alcoholic.

Since news of her overdose broke, many celebrities have come out to support her and pen words of encouragement online.

Ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas took to Twitter to say: “Like all of you I am thinking of @DDLovato right now. She needs our prayers and support. We all know how strong you are Demi. #prayfordemi”

His brother, Nick, was also quick to respond. “Like all of you I am reeling at the news about Demi. All of us love her and need to pray for her to get well. She is a fighter,” he tweeted.

Pop singer Ariana Grande sent out a simple tweet (“i love u @ddlovato”), while television host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres tweeted her support: “I love @DDLovato so much.

“It breaks my heart that she is going through this. She is a light in this world, and I am sending my love to her and her family.”

Lady Gaga tweeted that “we should all wrap our arms of love around Demi Lovato”.

“I am so happy you’re alive. Thank God. If I know my monsters as well as I believe I do, we all wish you self-compassion and inner peace. And may you receive the love so many have for you. #ImConfidentInDemi Demi, I love you.”

Source: Straits Times

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