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Demi Lovato Explained How Her Past Drug Use Was A “Coping Mechanism” That “Saved Her Life”

“It saved my life at times, because there were times that I dealt with suicidal ideations.”

Posted on March 10, 2021, at 7:45 a.m. ET

Demi Lovato is opening up about her history with drug misuse, explaining in a candid interview on Diane Guerrero’s Yeah No, I’m Not OK podcast that she believes her past drug misuse “saved her life.”

Rich Polk / Getty Images

According to a preview from E! News, in an upcoming episode of the podcast, the 28-year-old will address common misconceptions about addiction — namely that “if people are using drugs, or if they are dealing with an eating disorder or self-harm, that they want to die.”

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

In fact, Lovato said, she believes her addictions “stopped [her] from dying.”

“In the same way it almost killed me, it saved my life at times,” Lovato explained on the podcast. "Because there were times that I dealt with suicidal ideations. And had I gone forward with that in that moment, instead of another destructive coping mechanism, I wouldn’t be here to tell my story."

Lovato was hospitalized in 2018 following a near-fatal drug overdose, which she has referred to as the “darkest time” in her life.

“I turned to those coping mechanisms because I genuinely was in so much pain that I didn’t want to die,” the musician said. “And I didn’t know what else to do.”

Lovato went on to say that her decision to be so open about her mental health journey comes from a lack of visibility of similar issues in the media when she was young.

Paul Morigi / Getty Images

“I would look at people in the media and I would just compare myself,” Lovato said. “Not feel good enough, not feel thin enough, and wonder how it was that these people were living lives that seemed so perfect but yet I was in so much pain.”

“When I got into the spotlight, I was like, oh, it’s not perfect here,” she went on. “Nobody has a perfect life. It just looks that way.”

The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer is set to explore her past drug use and overdose in a new YouTube documentary, Dancing With the Devil, which will premiere on March 23.

In the trailer for the four-part series, Lovato revealed her overdose resulted in “three strokes and a heart attack,” and said her doctors had told her she had “five to ten more minutes.”

YouTube Originals / youtube.com

“I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with the effects of that today,” Lovato said following the release of the trailer.

“Everything had to happen in order for me to learn the lessons that I learned,” she told People. “It was a painful journey, and I look back and sometimes I get sad when I think of the pain that I had to endure to overcome what I have, but I don’t regret anything... I’m so proud of the person I am today.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug use, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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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