How Addiction Works and How Demi Lovato Can Overcome It

How Addiction Works and How Demi Lovato Can Overcome It

Demi Lovato has had her shares of ups and downs over the years. Getting over an addiction is a tough battle for anyone. Let's take a second to outline a few ways that Demi Lovato can overcome her addiction.

Last July, Demi Lovato was in the hospital for an (unspecified) overdose. Following her release from the hospital, she issued a statement regarding her ongoing battle with addiction on Instagram

In it, she writes: 

"I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction," "What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet."

"I want to thank my family, my team, and the staff at Cedars-Sinai who have been by my side the entire time," "Without them I wouldn't be here writing this letter to all of you. I now need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery. The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side."

Ironically, in June, Demi released a song called, "Sober" where she talks about breaking her sobriety after 6 years of being clean. The chorus/hook goes, "Momma, I'm so sorry, I'm not sober anymore," She even goes on to apologize to her fans for "being human."

It's not official what the drug she OD'd on in July actually was, but according to TMZ, it was heroin. A rep with the Lovato family later issued a statement that "Some of the information being reported is incorrect,"

Back in 2010 when she was 18, Demi admitted to requiring treatment after she left the Jonas Brothers tour. Later after the treatment was completed, Demi revealed that she was hiding a drug problem. 

In 2017, Demi Lovato was featured in a documentary titled, "Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated." In it, she revealed, "There was one night where I used a bunch of coke and I popped a few Xanax bars and I started to choke a little bit, and my heart started racing. And I remember thinking 'Oh my God, I might be overdosing right now.'"

What is Addiction and How Does it Work?

First, we have to understand WHAT it is how it takes over your brain.

An addiction is a craving for something that you have no control over and is something that a person continues to do over and over again.

It literally changes your brain by taking over your pleasure sensors and then later takes over your normal day-to-day life. Is it possible to get over an addiction? Yes. But it's NOT easy. 

What causes addiction?

Addiction takes over your brain in different ways: it makes you want that object of addiction, it makes you lose control over its use, and it makes you want to keep doing it even if it's bad for you. 

This can pertain to smartphone use, gambling, alcohol, prescription drugs, smoking, sex, porn, shopping, you name it. If you're losing sleep over it, you're probably losing willpower to that addiction. Keep in mind that no one really WANTS to become addicted to anything. It just happens when you do something over and over and your brain enjoys you doing it. Almost 1 in 10 Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs

In the past, addiction was often seen as simply something that people lacked willpower over. The cure was to punish abusers or force them to break their habit. Today, addiction is seen more as a chronic disease that affects and takes over the brain's ability to register pleasure and administer dopamine. Addictions are kinda like a shortcut to your brain's reward system. 

When someone is working to get over an addiction, they may have stopped doing the said addiction, but the good memories and compulsion of doing that addiction will always be there. 

When someone who was addicted to heroin sees a needle, they may start to remember the pleasures of doing the drug. This is what usually causes a person to relapse after being clean for years. 

So how can someone overcome an addiction? 

It starts with establishing the "What, How" and the "Why" of the addiction

  1. First, they'll have to admit that they have an addiction to their loved ones. It is a way to acknowledge that there is a problem and that his/her support group can join together to help the person overcome it. This usually involves writing it down on paper, or better yet, posting to social media as Demi Lovato has done. Identify triggers that cause you to lose your control... and make sure to stay far away from them as much as possible. If you're addicted to beer, make sure you stay away from bars and restaurants that serve it. 
  2. List all the things they want to accomplish if they were to kick their addiction to the curb. For starters, all the money they would save if they weren't addicted to shopping, drugs, etc.
  3. As with any plan to do anything in life, it helps to HAVE A PLAN! You'll need a start date with enough time to be mentally (and physically) prepared. Sometimes it's hard to quit something cold-turkey. Maybe start by weaning off of your addiction slowly. Remember to remove any reminders of your addiction from your home. Yep, it's time to empty that home bar if you've got a drinking problem and replace it with something else that you enjoy doing, like books or records for listening to music. 
  4. Surround yourself with a support group of people who are working towards the same goals so that your personal and professional relationships can help you succeed. If you've got to cut off some old friends, now might be the time. 
  5. Relapses are tempting along the journey. It helps to replace the sudden urge with another activity ASAP. Feel like gorging on junk food? It's time to go for a walk instead. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 24-hour treatment referral hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit for free and confidential help. In the case of a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

Read Demi Lovato's full statement: