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Why Demi Lovato is Such a Vocal Recovery Advocate (And Here’s Why We LOVE Her)

Demi Lovato Approaches Six Years of Sobriety at the Young Age of 25

Statistics show that approximately 1.5 million Americans over the age of 12 use cocaine at least once a month. Those who fall into the 18 to 25 age group make up the highest percentage of users. This is not the case for superstar pop singer Demi Lovato. She’s no statistic. In fact, she’s anything but. As someone who has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, an eating disorder, bipolar, and cutting, Lovato is a vocal recovery advocate. She’s breaking social norms and showing the world that it’s cool to be clean and sober. At 25, the beautiful young starlet is about to celebrate six years of continued sobriety. After battling a terrible addiction to cocaine in her teens, Lovato made the decision to sober up and get her life together at an early age. She continues to work on her mental health issues and she’s happy to tell the world about it.

Lovato Becomes a Hollywood Princess Before Age 10 and Gains Widespread Popularity

Demi Lovato began her acting career at age seven. Remember Barney – the giant purple dinosaur who taught kids how to sing and dance and be good little children? That’s how Lovato got her start. Since then, she has starred on several television shows on the Disney Channel, become a multi-platinum recording artist, been a judge on the hit show the X Factor, and written a successful book about her recovery journey. (We’re sharing snippets from Lovato’s resume here just in case you’re not familiar with this Latina’s dynamite career. Unbelievably, it spans almost two decades already.) But, her acting career is not what impresses us most about this songstress. Her winning smile, stunning good looks, and charming personality is not what won us over. It wasn’t Lovato’s acting skills or her killer voice that made us fall in love with her. Sure, we appreciate all these things about Lovato. But, what really sold us on D.L. is her continued commitment to sharing openly about what it’s like to recover from addiction and mental illness. Here’s 9 reasons why we love Demi Lovato.

#1 Being Sober at 25 is Truly Admirable, Especially for a Young Woman in Hollywood

You have to admire anyone who is sober at age 25. Most 25-year-olds are just getting the party started at this young age – especially in Hollywood. Of course, it’s never a party for long. Anyone who abuses drugs and alcohol is in for a rude awakening. What starts out as a party ends in a nightmare. For many people, the nightmare ends when the resources run out. A lot of people don’t hit bottom until the money is gone. Lovato had millions of dollars at her disposal. She could have kept using drugs until things got much, much worse. Or, she could have wound up in an early grave. But, she chose to quit getting high long before that happened. Lovato’s decision to get sober before the age of twenty is commendable. And, we love her for it.

#2 D.L. Got Clean for Her Family and Has Stayed Clean Ever Since

During a September appearance on the UK’s Jonathan Ross Show, Lovato explained that it was ultimately her love for her little sister Madison De La Garza that motivated her to get sober. “I knew that I had a lot of life ahead of me, but one of the main reasons of getting sober was so that I could be around my little sister because my mom and dad said I couldn’t be around her if I was doing stuff,” she told Ross. Lovato said that being able to be in her sissy’s life was incredibly important to her – so important that losing her because of drugs simply wasn’t an option. When she realized her addiction might be the cause of not seeing her sister again, checking into rehab wasn’t a difficult decision. She’s been sober ever since.

#3 Lovato Has Raised Awareness About How Devastating Cocaine Addiction Can Be

After being prescribed painkillers at age 12 following a car accident, Lovato fell in love with the way mood and mind-altering drugs made her feel. “That was how the substance abuse started,” she told Mail Online in 2014. “I liked the feeling they gave me – they sort of numbed everything.” Experimenting with drugs and alcohol in her early teens seemed like fun at first. But, before long, her addiction to cocaine was completely out of control and so was her life. “I couldn’t go without 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine and I would bring it on airplanes,” she revealed during an interview with Access Hollywood in 2013. “I would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there.” Those of us who have been hooked on powder know how cunning, baffling and powerful cocaine addiction can be. Lovato has used her unique position to explain it to the world on our behalf. Thanks, Demi.

#4 Lovato is Recovering from Bipolar Disorder and She’s Not Afraid to Tell the World

When you suffer from the disease of addiction and you have a mental illness, you are said to have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Lovato has been very open about the fact that she has a dual-diagnosis. Not only does she have a history of addiction, but she also has bipolar disorder. “I remember the day I got the diagnosis, finally it all made sense,” Lovato shared with Daily Mail in July 2014. “I’d been living with this mania – moments when I was up all night writing songs, thinking I could take on the world, and also these deep, dark depressions, when all I wanted to do was shut the door and not talk to anyone. And that is why I had been isolating myself – to try to deal with the pain.” Most people who struggle with bipolar disorder fight their battle privately, away from the judging eyes of the public. This is because there is still a terrible stigma attached to mental illness. By sharing openly about her bipolar disorder, Lovato is helping to put an end to the stigma of mental illness. She is proof positive that people who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder should not be feared or shunned. We, too, can shine bright like a diamond and make positive contributions to the world we live in.

#5 She Wrote a Book for People in Recovery

An actress, singer, AND an author? That’s right. Demi Lovato’s got it going on. In 2013, Lovato released Staying Strong. This 365-day devotional works much like the devotionals you find in 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Every day includes a quote from Demi, a personal reflection, and a goal. The book has been designed to assist sober people with their daily recovery journey. Gotta love a girl who has a heart for other recovering people.

#6 She Founded the Lovato Treatment Scholarship

Not only is Lovato a success in the spotlight, she’s an accomplished philanthropist in her personal life. (Keep in mind, this girl is only 25! Amazing!) Lovato struggled for years to reconcile the estranged relationship she had with her father, Patrick Lovato. Patrick struggled for years from untreated schizophrenia and alcoholism. He died in 2013 at the age of 54 from cancer. The week of his death, Demi founded the Lovato Treatment Scholarship. The scholarship helps people who can’t afford substance abuse services get the help they need. She told Good Morning America,“ I’m launching the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program. I’m helping one person at a time. I’m going to pay for their treatment. ” Pretty impressive.

#7 Demi Made the Choice to Invite the World into Her Sobriety Journey Early On

Like mental illness, there is a stigma associated with drug addiction. People seem to be more accepting of people who have a substance abuse problem than they do people with mental health issues. However; many people judge addicts as moral degenerates. When Lovato got clean, she didn’t care. “When I went to rehab, my manager said you know, ‘You can either keep this private or you can share this with the world, and hopefully, someone can learn from your struggles,’” Lovato told People in late September. “And when I heard that I thought, ‘I think it’s more important that people learn from my struggles than to keep it to myself.’” We’re so glad she made that choice. The world needs more Demi Lovatos.

#8 She Doesn’t Just Talk the Talk…. She Walks the Walk

In September, Lovato accepted the Spirit of Sobriety Award at the Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Prevention Summer Spectacular. She had this to say when she accepted her award, “I see a therapist twice a week. I make sure I stay on my medications. I go to AA meetings. I do what I can physically in the gym. I make it a priority.” This is a young lady who writes songs, records music, stars in television shows, starts foundations, and writes books. Talk about pressure. Yet, she keeps her recovery a priority. She takes her meds, goes to meetings, and goes to therapy twice a week. She walks the walk. She is a shining example of how we are all supposed to do recovery. We all have commitments….. but probably not as many as Demi Lovato. What were you saying about not having time to go to a meeting?

#9 Demi Continues to Offer Hope to Other Recovering Addicts

When you first get into recovery, you think the pain of withdrawal is never going to end. As you continue to stay in recovery, you think you are never going to stop thinking about drugs and alcohol. As times goes by, you begin to wonder if the day will ever come that can consider yourself normal. “I’ve been sober for five and a half years now and it gets a lot easier,” Lovato said during her Jonathan Ross interview. “It’s so much easier than it was in the beginning and now there are days when I don’t even think about it.” But, as she explained when she picked up her sobriety award in September, “Every day is a battle. You just have to take it one day at a time. Some days are easier than others and some days you forget about drinking and using, but for me, I work on my physical health, which is important, but my mental health as well.” Lovato admits that while she is solid in her recovery, there are days where she is still tempted. “There are days when you fight the temptation for sure but those days get further and further apart.”