Demi Lovato Says They Are 'No Longer' California Sober: 'Sober Sober Is the Only Way to Be'

Lovato had previously spoken about opting for smoking marijuana in moderation, but remaining sober from alcohol

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty

Demi Lovato is going to be "sober sober."

On Thursday, the 29-year-old singer announced that they would no longer be "California sober" — a term describing those who choose to use marijuana, but remain sober from alcohol — and instead opt for full sobriety. (Lovato's personal approach to "California sobriety" differed from the typical definition since they previously stated that they also drink in moderation.)

"I no longer support my 'California sober' ways," they wrote on Instagram. "Sober sober is the only way to be."

Traditionally in rehabs and 12-step programs, recovery is predicated on complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol and not moderation.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Demi Lovato</a>
Demi Lovato/Instagram

Lovato's announcement comes a day after they commemorated their late friend Thomas Trussell III, who died of a drug overdose in 2019, on their birthday.

"You're unforgettable," they wrote about Trussell. "We miss and love you. I mean how gorgeous is @sirtruss."

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Demi Lovato/Instagram

Lovato previously opened about their approach to sobriety in their Dancing with the Devil docuseries.

"I've learned that shutting a door on things makes me want to open the door even more. I've learned that it doesn't work for me to say 'I'm never gonna do this again,'" they said, adding that they had protocols in place to help prevent them from relapsing on hard drugs like heroin.

"Telling myself I can never have a drink or smoke marijuana is setting myself up for failure because I am such a black-and-white thinker," they said at the time. "I had it drilled into my head for so many years that one drink was equivalent to a crack pipe."

The singer also explained at the time that they're "done with the stuff that's going to kill me," but admitted that they still smoke weed and drink occasionally.

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"I also don't want people to hear that and think they could just try having a drink or smoking a joint because it isn't for everyone," they said in the docuseries. "Recovery isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. shouldn't be forced to get sober if you're not ready. You shouldn't get sober for other people. You have to do it for yourself."

Lovato also sang about their approach in the song "California Sober."

"I'm California sober / It doesn't have to mean the growin' part is over. / No, it ain't black or white, it's all of the colors," they sing. That I only just discovered, now I'm California sober / California sober."

Lovato's Calfornia sober approach had been criticized by several celebrities in the past. Lala Kent said the approach was "super offensive" back in July.

"I don't like to judge, but I actually think that that's super offensive," Kent said. "You know, 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. You know, they don't even, when they have a cold, take DayQuil or NyQuil. So to say that you're, like, 'California sober' or this type of sober is extremely offensive, I think."

"To me, I've been in rooms with men and women who have given up everything just to not pick up [substances]. So sober to me means that you are not taking yourself out of reality," she added.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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