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Demi Lovato's Drug Addiction Was Worse Than Anyone Knew

And more revelations from new documentary
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2017 11:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – The depth of Demi Lovato's drug addiction becomes clear with the release of Simply Complicated, the second documentary about the singer. The first documentary about her, 2012's Stay Strong, focused on her recovery after she went to rehab at 18 (for self-harming and an eating disorder, along with drug abuse), but, as the new documentary reveals, she actually wasn't clean while filming it and often snuck into bathrooms or elsewhere to get high on cocaine, faking drug tests with other people's urine. Eight more revelations from Simply Complicated, per Vulture, Us, and E!:

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  1. The first time she did cocaine, she was 17. A popular student at school suggested she start partying, and she was eager to fit in after years of being bullied; drinking came first, then drugs. "I felt out of control with the coke the first time that I did it," she says, but she adds that she "loved it."
  2. Nick Jonas thought he'd saved her. Before she went to rehab, her friend and frequent co-star (he's also the brother of her one-time paramour Joe Jonas) thought things were better: "I felt a bit of pride about it. Selfishly, maybe I thought I'm helping her come back to being the Demi we all know and love."
  3. But then she punched her backup dancer. It was the episode that made headlines and preceded her stay in rehab, and in the new documentary, she reveals that the reason for the punch was that she found out the dancer had snitched about her using Adderall during a hotel party.

  1. She was afraid she was overdosing one night. During what she describes as a two-month "bender" after her stint in rehab, she mixed cocaine and Xanax. "I started to choke a little bit and my heart started racing. I remember thinking, 'Oh my God, I might be overdosing right now.'"
  2. The last time she drank alcohol was the night before she performed on American Idol. "I was at a hotel and I invited two random people and basically just drank with them. I got really, really drunk until it was time to get on a flight. And I was so drunk that I threw up in the back of the car service on the way to the airport to perform," she says. "I felt like that was a moment in my career where I didn't care."
  3. A threat started to turn things around. After her management team threatened to fire her if she didn't get sober, Lovato destroyed her cellphone so she couldn't get in touch with her drug dealers, then gave it to her manager. "The most important fear to Demi is losing people," her personal development coach explains.

  1. She lived in a sober home during her stint as an X Factor judge. "She's having to do chores, she has no cellphone, she is completely and totally submitted to the process of recovery," her coach says.
  2. She still struggles with an eating disorder. Though she's sober now for going on five years, she still struggles with binging and purging at times, per the Daily Nebraskan's review of the documentary. But exercise helps her to stay healthy. "Working out is a form of meditation for me because I'm not focused on anything in my head," she says. As Glamour reports, Lovato recently posted before-and-after pictures to Instagram showing how far she's come from the height of the eating disorder to now.
(Read more Demi Lovato stories.)

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