When news broke yesterday of Demi Lovato’s reported heroin overdose, my first thought was “holy shit.” I was immediately met with feelings of shock and disbelief. She is a young, talented, 25 year old, full of so much life. But also a role model to many and champion of living a sober lifestyle, a rarity in the music community.
Up until this year, Lovato had been clean of all drugs and alcohol for over six years. Cocaine and other hard drugs were among her main vices. She chose to be public with her relapse in June by releasing the song, “Sober”. Which now, when you listen to the haunting lyrics, sounds like a cry for help.
Obviously, being a person who runs a music site, I felt a responsibility to share this news with my followers. Although, as soon as I did, I got hit with a wave of guilt. Overdosing is one of the most painful things a person can experience, and is tremendously hard in private. Now because of news outlets, including my own, her personal crisis is now public knowledge. Which leaves the whole world watching her recovery with scrutiny.
Even though writing about music and celebrities is my job, at times like this it feels unfair. Do her millions of fans need to know if she’s okay? Of course. However, I don’t condone a news outlet reporting her treatment plan, how she was revived, or the particular drug involved. It’s just nobody’s business, simple as that.
Then again, this does serve as a cautionary tale. Or better perhaps a wake up call, to those struggling that even the most successful, beautiful, and talented can be fighting the battle too. Addiction isn’t always the face you see on “Intervention”, this selfie was posted by Demi just one day before.
We saw thousands of tweets yesterday in support of Lovato, with the hashtag #PrayersForDemi. Fellow pop stars like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry all sent out their love. But are tweets enough?
Really… it’s a serious question that I’m asking myself, and you all. How can we help artists like Demi Lovato? Or Lil Peep, Amy Winehouse, the list goes on. These musicians who give us so much; with grueling tour schedules, press, appearances, all while trying to maintain sobriety is no easy task. There’s no way media attention on top of this is any help.
There were reports today of her hospital being on total lockdown, the whole floor cleared with no one allowed to enter besides visitors cleared by Demi’s mother. Just IMAGINE, how that would feel. To feel the physical pain of an overdose on top of the emotional pain of knowing the whole world knows what you’re going through.
Should drug overdoses be reported on at all? Do fans deserve to know? Should there be some law in place protecting their privacy, or is this just as they call it “the price of fame”? Until then, I hope other media outlets have even the slightest bit of empathy, and treat this “story” delicately. This isn’t clickbait, this is someone’s life. We at Mic Drop Music sincerely hope you recover, Demi.