Demi Lovato Opens Up About Cocaine, Alcohol Abuse

By Shawn Dwyer 12/11/13

In her most frank discussion of her dark days of substance abuse, the Disney star has confessed to some surprising details about her past addiction.

Lovato hit bottom at 19 years old.
Photo via Shutterstock

Demi Lovato, once a child actress who appeared on Barney & Friends, has offered the first detailed look at her past with substance abuse in an exclusive interview with Access Hollywood. “I had all the help in the world, but I didn't want it," she said.

Lovato admitted for the first time her problems with alcohol and cocaine abuse in the interview, stating that drugs were “no longer fun” and became so problematic that she even hid her use from her sober living companion. "Something I've never talked about before, but with my drug use I could hide it to where I would sneak drugs,” she said. “I couldn't go without 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine and I would bring it on airplanes.”

The star also admitted to drinking Sprite bottles filled with vodka at 9 a.m. and throwing up on her way back to her sober living house in Los Angeles, one of several moments she hit on her slide to rock bottom. "I think at 19 years old, I had a moment where I was like, ‘Oh my God…that is alcoholic behavior,'” Lovato said. “[I]t was, wow, I'm one of those people…I gotta get my shit together.”

Lovato has stated in the past that she suffered from bipolar disorder, which she learned about in treatment, and admitted to cutting as a means of coping with her problems. But since completing treatment in January 2011, she has been opening up more in interviews about her past issues with mental health, eating disorders, and substance abuse, and in November she published her memoir, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, that alludes to her struggles.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.