The singer, 25, has proudly — and publicly — celebrated her sobriety milestones over the last six years, but a longtime friend tells PEOPLE exclusively Lovato struggled privately with the pressure to remain clean.
“Demi never wanted to be a role model. Her sobriety over the last six years was a fight every single day,” says the friend. “After she finally got clean, her team was very hard on her and treated her like she was a kid. It’s so hard to have all these eyes on you all the time.”
Over the last year, Lovato yearned for more freedom and “slowly started breaking away” from her tightly regulated life.
“She is so young and she also has a very rebellious personality,” says the source. “She wasn’t drinking or using at first, but she’s even said herself that she can’t be in a [party] environment. She thought she could handle it, but it’s a very slippery slope.”
For all the details on Demi Lovato’s hospitalization and ongoing struggles following her overdose, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
In March, the “Confident” singer marked “6 years sober” on her social media accounts, writing that she was “so grateful for another year of joy, health and happiness.”
Sources told PEOPLE on Monday she is expected to make a “full recovery,” but that decisions in terms of treatment had not yet been made.
“It’s too soon to say what the next steps are in terms of entering treatment,” a source close to Lovato told PEOPLE. “Right now everyone is focused on getting Demi physically healthy.”
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.