Back in July of 2018, Demi Lovato suffered an overdose that nearly claimed their life.
After several weeks of recovery in an LA hospital, Lovato checked into an intensive rehab program that kept them out of the public eye for the remainder of the year.
When they re-emerged, Demi made it clear that they were fully committed to their sobriety, which they had maintained for six years prior to their near-fatal relapse.
So it’s not hard to see why some fans were shocked by the news that the singer made a conscious decision to begin drinking and smoking weed again.
"[I’m] following a program that’s telling me if I slip up, I’m going to die,’” Demi told Glamour of their experiences with Alcoholics Anonymous.
“A one-size-fits-all solution does not work for everybody,” Lovato continued.
“Any path that is right for someone else does not mean that it is an effective, meaningful, safe path for you. … What I’m encouraging people to do is just make choices for themselves. Autonomy, for me, is what changed my life.”
Demi shared their experience with a caveat, saying:
“I don’t want people to hear that and think they can just go out and try having a drink or smoking a joint. … You shouldn’t be forced to be sober if you’re not ready," they told their interviewer.
"You shouldn’t get sober for other people."
(Many would argue that the people in one’s life can actually serve as a powerful motive to get sober, but that’s a conversation for another time.)
But even with that addendum, Lovato’s approach is likely to be dangerous for most people in recovery, so it’s not surprising that other sober celebs are calling them out:
Vanderpump Rules star Lala Kent got sober in 2018 following the death of her father.
Kent, who recently welcomed her first child, has been admirably candid about the experience of getting clean, stating that she resisted the urge to self-medicate during the darkest days of her mourning.
Lala has been active in AA, and as someone who’s experienced firsthand the power of inspirational examples, she cautions other addicts against following Demi’s lead:
“I don’t like to judge, but I actually think that that’s super offensive,” Kent said during an appearance on the “Behind The Velvet Rope with David Yontef” podcast.
“There are people out there who work their ass off to never take themselves out of reality and to never place themselves in an altered state," Lala continued.
“So to say that you’re, like, California sober or this type of sober is extremely offensive."
Kent went on to make herself abundantly clear, stating that anyone who’s still indulging in mind-altering substances for fun or to "take the edge off" is objectively not sober.
“I’ve been in rooms with men and women who have given up everything just to not pick up," she told her interviewer.
"You’re not sober if you’re drinking or you’re smoking weed. You are not sober,”
While every addict’s sobriety is unique in some ways, Lala is undeniably correct in her assertion that anyone who’s using recreational drugs cannot be classified as strictly sober.
And she’s not the first celebrity to express frustration with Demi’s seemingly blasé attitude toward her own sobriety, which not only has the potential to be harmful to them, but could also set a dangerous example for other people in recovery.
Last month, Jersey Shore star Mike Sorrentino was similarly critical of Lovato’s comments, arguing that their commitment to staying clean could be a literal matter of life and death.
Demi has not publicly responded to any of the criticism of her comments.
We wish them all the best in their recovery.