Lala Kent Calls Out Demi Lovato's 'California Sober' Lifestyle: It's 'Super Offensive'
"If you are drinking or you're smoking weed, you're not sober," Lala Kent said
Joining the Behind The Velvet Rope podcast Monday, Kent — who decided to get sober in 2018 — weighed in on Lovato's decision to embrace what they refer to as the "California sober" lifestyle. While sobriety (particularly within 12-step recovery programs) traditionally means abstaining from all drugs and alcohol, the practice Lovato has adopted allows for them to use select substances in moderation.
"I don't like to judge, but I actually think that that's super offensive," Kent, 30, told host David Yontef. "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.
The Vanderpump Rules star argued that being California sober is "not a real thing."
"You're not sober," she continued. "If you are drinking or you're smoking weed, you're not sober."
Lovato, 28, has struggled with addiction for years and survived a near-death overdose in July 2018. Nearly three years after the incident, the "Met Him Last Night" singer revealed that they have chosen to continue drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in moderation.
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"I've learned that shutting a door on things makes me want to open the door even more," Lovato, who recently came out as non-binary, said in their YouTube docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil in March. "I've learned that it doesn't work for me to say 'I'm never gonna do this again.'"
Lovato said that they're "done with the stuff that's going to kill me" and that they're "getting ahead of the curve and being proactive" by receiving monthly Vivitrol shots. (While Vivitrol obstructs the effects of opioids, Drugs.com states that it's not considered to be a permanent solution for drug or alcohol addiction.)
Lovato later said on CBS Sunday Morning that California sober is currently the term they can "best identify" with.
"I really don't feel comfortable explaining the parameters of my recovery to people, because I don't want anyone to look at my parameters of safety and think that's what works for them, because it might not," they said in March. "I am cautious to say that, just like I feel the complete abstinent method isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for everybody, I don't think that this journey of moderation is a one-size-fits-all solution for everybody."
Nearly two years into Kent's own sobriety journey, she opened up about how getting sober changed her for the better.
"It's important for me to say that this is a disease that can only be self-diagnosed. No one got me sober ... I got me sober. I made the choice to work hard every day to not pick up a drink," the reality star wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post in July 2020. "When I'm feeling weak, I call my sponsor. I go to meetings (sign onto them, now) to keep my spirits high and to remember why I made this life-changing choice."
"I see addiction in front of me often — but it isn't my job to speak on it, nor is it my job to judge," she continued. "It's my job to pray for them and take a moment of silence for the alcoholic who still suffers. And when someone comes to me asking for help, I offer my ear & knowledge, and point them in the direction that was pointed to me. #1year9months2days."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.