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Demi Lovato Hospitalized Following an Apparent Drug Overdose

By Steven Ey, M.D.

Categories: Articles

Recently, a very talented singer named Demi Lovato, was hospitalized following an apparent drug overdose. This followed a public statement by her that she had relapsed in her disease of addiction. Demi clearly had made great strides as a recovering individual but relapse is unfortunately all too common with substance use disorders, particularly when the underlying mental health disorders are not addressed comprehensively. She also apparently suffered from depression, anxiety, and had an eating disorder.

Thankfully, she has survived this overdose and will have the opportunity to re-engage in treatment and recovery. Overdose and deaths related to opioids are all too common these days. In fact the number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States annually tops 50,000, a number comparable to that of American soldiers that died during the entire Vietnam war. Fortunately, a medication that is now much more widely available, Narcan, was administered to Demi and kept her alive until she could get to the hospital. Narcan is now available to not only paramedics and hospital staff, but to the general public as well. All that is required is a prescription. The scourge of opioid addiction is real and is not going away soon. The tsunami of mental illness is never going away. But there is hope as hospitals, doctors, and government agencies are working more closely than ever to address these problems.

Steven Ey, MD

Medical Director, Hoag Addiction Treatment Centers