Demi Lovato's Mom Detailed Her 'Heartbreaking' Addiction Battle, from 'The Ultimate Breaking Point' to Relapse
The author opened up to PEOPLE about her daughter's tortured past earlier this year
Demi Lovato is battling her demons once again.
On Tuesday, PEOPLE confirmed that the pop star, 25, was hospitalized following an overdose but is now “stable,” per a source close to the singer.
Audio of the emergency call obtained by TMZ revealed the pop star was unconscious upon the arrival of EMS personnel and revived with Narcan, an emergency medication used to reverse the effects of a narcotic overdose. While TMZ reports the overdose is heroin related, a source close to Lovato claims to PEOPLE that it is not.
The former child star has struggled with addiction, mental illness and disordered eating for years. In 2010, Lovato entered treatment, where she sought help for bipolar disorder, bulimia, self-harm and addiction. She relapsed after she left the treatment center, then entered a sober living facility for a year.
In February, the pop star’s mother — former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and author Dianna De La Garza — opened up to PEOPLE about her famous daughter’s tortured past.
Below: Demi’s early addiction battle, in her mother’s words.
Distress in Her Disney Days
In her 2018 memoir Falling with Wings, De La Garza, 55, revealed that her daughter’s body-image issues and depression went all the way back to when she starred in Camp Rock, then Sonny with a Chance, on the Disney Channel.
By the time Lovato was 16, she began to spiral, disobeying curfew and getting into drugs and alcohol.
“Every night I’d set an alarm for 2:00 a.m. If she wasn’t [home], I called her until she walked through the front door. What do you say to your child when she is the one paying most of the bills?” De La Garza wrote in the book.
‘The Ultimate Breaking Point’
In November of 2010, Lovato was on tour with the Jonas Brothers and crossed a line when she punched a backup dancer in the face on an airplane. Her mother knew she needed help and rushed to her daughter.
After the altercation, De La Garza recalls her daughter said, “Maybe everyone would be better off if I wasn’t here anymore.”
Concerned, Lovato’s family rallied around her.
“The ultimate breaking point would have been when Demi was on tour, and she lashed out at one of her dancers, physically,” De La Garza previously told PEOPLE. “That was the defining moment where we all said, as a family: She needs help. She needs serious help. And it doesn’t matter what happens to her career — we need to focus on getting her the help she needs.”
In November 2010, Lovato checked into a rehab facility outside of Chicago.
“As the intake counselor asked questions, I heard more than a few shocking revelations. When she asked about drugs, my jaw dropped. ‘Cocaine, pot, and Adderall,’ Demi said. My blood ran cold,” De La Garza wrote in her memoir of discovering her daughter’s early vices.
Lovato spent three months in treatment, and “As time dragged on, she seemed more herself. The kinder, happier daughter I once knew was slowly reemerging,” De La Garza wrote in her book.
However, after leaving rehab, Lovato relapsed once again. This time, her mother gave her an ultimatum: Get clean, or she would cut off contract from her younger half-sister, Desperate Housewives alum Madison De La Garza.
“That was a very heartbreaking time in my life because we basically sat down with Demi and said to her, as much as it hurt me, ‘You have to get serious about getting help and getting sober because you have a little sister, and I can’t allow her to be around you if this is how it’s going to be,'” De La Garza previously told PEOPLE.
De La Garza added: “I didn’t want to say that, as a mother, but I had to because it was the truth. And I did tell her: ‘I will have to take Madison and move back to Texas because I can’t stay and watch this anymore, and I don’t want Madison to see this.'”
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Lovato’s mom said her ultimatum worked and in her book wrote: “She looked weary, as if she was tired of fighting.”
“That was the defining moment for her. That’s when she took her phone, smashed it and put it in a glass of water, as a sign that she was ready to commit,” De La Garza added.
“She gave up her phone, her car keys, her credit cards, she entered a sober living house and completely followed the program. But I have to believe in my heart that it was the mention of her little sister Madison and her realization that she could grow up without even knowing her, that helped Demi make the decision that she made that day,” the Lovato matriarch continued.
Lovato has long been open about her her struggles and has become a fierce advocate for mental health and body positivity.
In February, her mother told PEOPLE: “I used to think that her thing in life was going to be young girls looking up to her because she’s such a great singer,” De La Garza says of her middle child. “But her purpose is so much bigger. I’m proud Demi is an advocate for mental health and positive body image — she’s a role model because of what she’s been through and where she is today.”
While Lovato continues to face her demons in the spotlight, she’s doing it honestly.
And in “Sober,” she revealed she is still committed to being someone to look up to: “And I’m sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again / I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.