Demi Lovato Chose a ‘Constructive’ Rehab Experience After OD: ‘It’s Not Nurturing’

Demi Lovato was in too deep. Back in 2010, at just 18, the Disney darling was already battling substance addictions, bulimia and bipolar disorder. “I lived fast and I was going to die young,” the “Skyscraper” singer recalled in July 2016. “I didn’t think I would make it to 21.” But three months of rehabilitation allowed her to reclaim her life.

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato Jason Merritt/Getty Images

“I thought, ‘Oh great, now the world thinks I’m just another stereotype,’” Lovato continued. “I didn’t go into treatment thinking, ‘OK, now I’m going to be an inspiration.’ At times, I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it’s really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable.”

Today, she’s looking to rediscover that power. Following her apparent drug overdose on July 24, the six-years-sober Lovato — she revealed she had relapsed in June in her emotional ballad “Sober” — is seeking “aggressive” treatment, shares an insider. “This is not her first rodeo,” says the source. “She doesn’t want to feel like things are being handed to her. For Demi, this is a strength test.” 

Demi Lovato performs during the 2018 California Mid-State Fair on July 22, 2018 in Paso Robles, California.
Demi Lovato performs during the 2018 California Mid-State Fair on July 22, 2018 in Paso Robles, California. C Flanigan/Getty Images

One she is willing to give her all to. After she was released from L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai hospital August 4, the 26-year-old opened up on Instagram about her difficult journey ahead. “What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time,” she wrote. “I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side.”

The fight will not be easy. Rather than check into a compassion-based program — or one favored by celebs, such as Promises in Malibu — Lovato chose what she considers to be a “constructive” experience, says the source.

“The rehab she is in is much more drill sergeant-esque,” says the insider. “It’s not nurturing. At places like Promises, you live on the beach and go horseback riding. That’s not what Demi needs to put her in check.” 

Treatment, she hopes, will reinstate her once unwavering discipline. Earlier this summer, “Demi lost herself,” adds the source. “Her sobriety became a downward spiral. Addiction is a disease and she let it get out of control.” Eventually, she reached her breaking point. “Having her level of fame can be unbearable,” explains the source. “Demi was so strong for so long, but she caved.” To quiet the noise, she gave in to her old habits. “She set high expectations for herself and it got to be too much,” adds the source. “Her decision-making process was severely impaired. But she’s only human.”

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For more on Demi Lovato’s recovery — and how her ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama is supporting her — pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now!

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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