Demi Lovato Admits She Relapsed After Her Near-Fatal 2018 Overdose

Demi Lovato is using her journey with addiction to help millions of others. She’s revealing just how damaging the effects of her 2018 overdose are in her new YouTube docuseries, Dancing with the Devil. Despite surviving the ordeal, she admits to relapsing just months later. Lovato says it was triggered by trauma from a sexual assault.

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato at the 2020 People’s Choice Awards | Rich Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Demi Lovato opens up about being sexually assaulted the night of her overdose

Upon waking up in the hospital after overdosing, Lovato immediately noticed the physical effects. She reveals in episode 2 that she became legally blind for a temporary period.

But Lovato was even more shocked to discover that she’d been sexually violated. “I didn’t just overdose, I also was taken advantage of,” Lovato says. “When they found me I was naked, I was blue, I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me.”

Source: YouTube

Related: Demi Lovato Reveals the Severity of Her 2018 Overdose: ‘I Had 3 Strokes and Brain Damage’

TMZ reports that Lovato’s dealer was a man named Brandon Johnson. Per Distracify, Johnson told TMZ that he and Lovato had a “sexual friendship” but were “for the most part just friends.” Lovato admits to consenting in the past with Johnson. But she denies giving him her consent the night of her overdose as she was unconscious. 

“When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I’d had consensual sex and there was one flash that I had of him on top of me – I saw that flash and I said yes,” Lovato recalls. “It actually wasn’t until maybe a month after my overdose that I realized, ‘Hey you weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.”

The trauma from the sexual assault contributed to Demi Lovato relapsing after her overdose

In episode 3, Lovato explains that not healing from the trauma of being taken advantage of led her down a dangerous path once again. The weight of being taken advantage of was heavy for the singer.

“I had just done a week-long intensive trauma retreat – the night that I came back from that retreat, I called him,” Lovato explained. “And I wanted to rewrite his choice of violating me – I wanted it now to be my choice and he also had something that I wanted, which were drugs. I ended up getting high.”

Lovato took the same drug that caused her 2018 overdose: heroin. Unfortunately, her belief that she was taking her power back by becoming intimate with her dealer and taking drugs on her own regard only made her feel worse.

Related: Demi Lovato’s Drug Dealer Once Said They Had a ‘Sexual Friendship’

“I was mortified by my decisions,” she says. “I called him back and I said, ‘No, I’m gonna f**k you’ and it didn’t fix anything…all it did was bring me back to my knees and ask God for help.”

Luckily, Lovato had the tools to tell the people around her that she’d relapsed and was able to immediately get back into treatment. 

How to get help: In the U.S., call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.