Demi Lovato renounces ‘California sober’ lifestyle which included alcohol and weed in moderation6 min read
Demi Lovato announced they will officially become ‘sober sober’ three years after her near-fatal overdose from heroin laced with fentanyl.
After previously taking a ‘California sober’ approach to recover from her past drug and alcohol abuse, the 29-year-old singer revealed they will no longer drink alcohol or smokes marijuana in moderation.
‘I no longer support my ‘California sober’ ways,’ Lovato, uses the pronouns they/them, wrote on her Instagram Story. ‘Sober sober is the only way to be.’
Changing her ways: Demi Lovato announced they will officially become ‘sober sober’ three years after her near-fatal overdose from heroin laced with fentanyl; seen in August
In March, Demi revealed that they were just minutes away from death when her assistant found her on the night of her overdose back in 2018, telling CBS Sunday Morning that ‘if no one had found her, she wouldn’t be here’.
The traumatic overdose left her legally blind and with brain damage after suffering a heart attack and three strokes while in hospital.
When asked by a producer of her YouTube documentary, Dancing With the Devil whether they were ‘entirely sober,’ Demi said they still smoke weed and drinking in’ after struggling to come to terms with the idea that they might never be able to ‘get some relief’ from a substance again.
‘I no longer support my ‘California sober’ ways,’ Lovato wrote. ‘Sober sober is the only way to be’
‘I’ve learned that shutting the door on things makes me want to open the door even more,’ they explained. ‘I’ve learned that it doesn’t work for me to say, “I’m never going to do this again.”
‘I’ve really struggled with this. I know I’m done with the stuff that’s going to kill me. But I wish that I could get some relief, maybe through weed or something. And telling myself that I can never have a drink or smoke marijuana, I feel like that’s setting myself up for failure, because I am such a black and white thinker.
‘I had had it drilled into my head for so many years that one drink was equivalent to a crack pipe. I’ve been hesitant to share until now that I’ve been smoking weed and drinking in moderation.’
Demi admitted that they grappled with how and when to share this information with the world for a number of reasons – the first being that they didn’t want people to ‘criticize’ her for the decision, after being held as the ‘poster child of sobriety’ in the years after her overdose.
Scary: In March, Demi revealed that they were just minutes away from death when her assistant found her on the night of her overdose back in 2018, telling CBS Sunday Morning that ‘if no one had found her, she wouldn’t be here’
‘I also don’t want people to hear that and think that they can just go out and try having a drink or smoking a joint because it isn’t for everybody,’ they continued.
‘Recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. And you shouldn’t be forced to get sober if you’re not ready. You shouldn’t get sober for other people. You have to do it for yourself.’
Those closest to Demi confessed that they have varying opinions about her decision – with her manager, Scooter Braun, confessing that he ‘doesn’t truly agree’ with the idea of consuming substances in ‘moderation.’
Life-changing: During the fourth and final episode of her docuseries, Demi opened up about why they had chosen to smoke weed and drink alcohol after her near-fatal overdose in 2018
‘Demi knows the whole moderation thing is not something I truly agree with,’ he admits. ‘What I’ve learned with addiction is if I push her to do what I want, I push her away. I can’t control her. What I can do is be a friend and hope that she’s right.’
Her former assistant, Jordan Jackson – the person who found Demi after her overdose and made the 911 call – also confessed it scared her when her boss was not completely sober.
Demi’s older sister Dallas, however, insists that her sibling has finally reached a state in her life ‘where she’s finally learning to find balance’, suggesting that her decision to smoke weed and drink alcohol is all part of that.
Concern: At the time, Demi’s manager Scooter Braun admitted that he ‘doesn’t truly agree’ with the idea of consuming substances in ‘moderation’
Other sober stars, like singer Elton John, who has been sober for over three decades, voiced skepticism in the ‘California sober’ lifestyle.
‘Moderation doesn’t work,’ he said. ‘Sorry. If you drink you’re going to drink more. If you take a pill you’re going to take another one. You either do it or you don’t.’
He added: ‘The great thing about Demi is that she has opened up about her addictions and her problems and the stress and the pressure of fame at such an early age, and a lot of people are afraid to open up about it.
‘I feel once you open up about it, you get the monkey off your back and you come out in the open.
‘It doesn’t mean to say you’re cured, because you never will be. Addiction is a lifelong thing. But you can have the most fantastic life. I’ve been sober 30 years, I’ve had the most incredible things happen to me. And I’m hoping that she does, too, because she’s such a great girl.’
Warning: Elton John, who has himself been sober for 30 years, previously issued a warning about Demi’s decision to smoke weed and drink in ‘moderation’, insisting ‘it doesn’t work’
In October, Lala Kent described ‘California sober’ as disrespectful towards those working ‘really hard’ to be completely abstinent.
‘It’s not a real thing,’ Lala, 31, said on Watch What Happens Live after a viewer asked how she felt about Vanderpump Rules star Raquel Leviss calling her fiance James Kennedy ‘California sober.’
Lala previously slammed the strategy after Lovato admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol in moderation.
Open book: In her past documentary, Lovato discussed her overdose, mental health, and experiences of sexual assault
‘The term is dry, and I’m obviously in the program. I’m with a lot of incredible men and women who do everything in their power to never pick up any sort of substance,’ she said on WWHL. ‘So to hear someone say, “I’m California sober,” it doesn’t sit right with me. Because I’m a person who only drank and smoked weed and almost lost my entire life. So, I don’t like it.
‘The smallest amount of anything could potentially — you could fall off the wagon,’ she continued.
‘So for me, I just think… just don’t disrespect people who work really hard to never pick up anything and remain in their right frame of mind at all times.’
Not a fan: Kent previously said she thinks Demi Lovato’s idea of being ‘California sober’ is ‘super offensive’ to people working hard to fight addiction. The non-binary singer allows themself to drink alcohol and smoke cannabis ‘in moderation’
The Bravo star has been a vocal advocate for Alcoholics Anonymous since quitting drugs and alcohol after spiraling out of control following her father’s sudden death.
In 2019, she told Page Six: ‘I swear by the program of AA.’
‘I know that old-timers will hate me for talking about the program because of it being an anonymous program. But there is a generation, my generation, that’s struggling and they need to know about this program. It exists and it’s saving my life.’