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Demi Lovato Said She’ll “Probably Never” Discuss Details Of Her Recovery After Facing Criticism Over Her Choice To Be “California Sober”

“The only criticism I need is from my treatment team, and if what we’re doing right now is working for me, then I’m gonna keep it between me and them.”

Posted on April 22, 2021, at 7:12 a.m. ET

Demi Lovato has said she’s “never going to discuss the parameters” of her recovery from her near-fatal overdose, explaining in a recent interview that the choices she makes are between her and her treatment team.

Rich Fury / Getty Images

The 28-year-old singer’s recovery has been well documented with the recent release of a candid YouTube series, Dancing With the Devil, which took a no-holds-barred look at the overdose that nearly killed her back in 2018, and the effects that experience had on her.

But some were surprised when, in the documentary, Demi admitted that she wasn’t completely sober and was still enjoying alcohol and weed “in moderation” despite some of her inner circle disagreeing with that decision.

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During one episode, Demi revealed that, while she’s “done with the stuff that’s going to kill me,” total sobriety would be “setting myself up for failure.”

She called the approach being “California sober” and penned a song about it for her latest album. However, the singer was quick to add that her decision shouldn’t be viewed as a “one-size-fits-all solution” for addiction recovery.

“I also don’t want people to hear that and think that they can go out and try having a drink or smoking a joint, you know?” she said. “Because it isn’t for everybody.”

Friends who appeared in the documentary didn’t entirely agree with Demi’s choice, and her manager, Scooter Braun, and music legend Elton John expressed their opinions and concerns on the matter.

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“Demi knows the whole moderation thing isn’t something I totally agree with,” Scooter said. “What I’ve learned with the whole addiction thing 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.”

Elton said that he didn’t think moderation worked, adding, “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.”

And Demi’s former assistant who found the singer unconscious and called the ambulance after her overdose said, “It does kind of scare me now to know that she isn’t sober.”

Despite her inner circle’s worries, though, Demi appeared in high spirits earlier this week as she celebrated 420, posing with a bong on her Instagram story.

And in a recent interview with Zach Sang, Demi went into more detail about her song “California Sober,” explaining that it was about “identifying what works best for you.”

“‘California Sober’ is extremely important, because that song represents an alternate path to the recovery that I’ve been taught...the past 10 years of dealing with this stuff,” she said. “It’s not saying that this works for everybody, but it’s saying that that other solution isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and there’s options.”

She added, “It’s just about identifying what works best for you and going forward with that.”

But while discussing the term itself, Demi said that she would “probably never” discuss the parameters of her recovery and would instead keep the details private.

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

“I didn’t make up this term, right? I just heard it and was like, ‘Oh, that sounds green and applies to me,’” she said. “But I think that different people have different meanings for it. So it might be moderation to some people, it might be only natural things to some people.”

“For me, I’ve decided that I’m probably never going to discuss the parameters surrounding my recovery and what that looks like,” she went on. “Because when I do get into details with people, it just kind of opens myself up for more scrutiny than I need.”

She concluded, “The only criticism I need is from my treatment team, and if what we’re doing right now is working for me, then I’m gonna keep it between me and them.”

You can watch the clip from Demi’s interview with Zach Sang here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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