Quotables: Demi Lovato Knows What's Up With Addiction, All Right?

2/4/2014 7:00 AM PST, by
0204_fish_demi
"I wish more people would lose the stigma and treat addiction as the deadly and serious DISEASE that it is. Drugs are not something to glamorize in pop music or film to portray as harmless recreational fun. ... It's very rare when people can actually predict their addiction and even then, you never know when too much is going to take their life or take a bad batch of whatever it is their using. ... This stuff is not something to mess with. Why risk it? Addiction IS a disease. Please spread the word so we can take the taboo out of discussing this illness and raising awareness to people of all ages. RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman.. An INCREDIBLE artist who lost his life to this horrible disease.. May you rest peacefully and in complete serenity now that your pain is gone. God Bless..."


--Demi Lovato's fabulous, example-setting, and empathetic commentary on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, a polarizing death. 

If you were hanging around here yesterday at all, then you likely saw that the majority of those who commented on the Jared Padalecki/Philip Seymour Hoffman post slammed Philip's sudden death by apparent overdose, instead of sympathizing with Philip and his family and this awful occurrence. 

The thing is, however, that when Demi came clean about her addiction, folks were supportive. People were caring and empathetic (as they should have been), and it's not just because Demi is a young girl who's got the world by the balls -- it's because Demi is likable, and honest, and had been nothing but forthright about her addictions. Are people so opposed to Philip's death because he hid his addiction? Because he was ashamed and destroyed and depressed by what had been going on in his life? Are people so angry about Philip's death because they weren't privy to the behind-closed-doors goings on that Demi was so clear about? 

Demi Lovato has a history of substance abuse. It could have been young Demi who overdosed and died. It could have been any other admirable celebrity who was either talented, or sweet, or humane. And in many of those circumstances, the majority of people would have been empathetic. So what's so different about Philip? Because he was a father? A partner? A grown man? An Academy Award-winning actor? Because he'd been in rehab before and failed? 

Maybe care and empathy is the first step for addicts to stop feeling so ostracized and alone in their struggles. Maybe we should start helping more, instead of pointing our fingers. Maybe we should start educating and stop being so selective over who deserves our compassion, because here's a life secret: everyone deserves your compassion. Everyone

1202_fish_launch_demi

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Comments

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Alphonsus
239 days ago

I'm going to have to disagree. I believe that, in fact, it's precisely this kind of sentimentalist thinking that's leading to the carnage. At last, we need to explode the romantic myths surrounding drug use, and especially heroin. Therefore I beg everyone to read the following book:

Romancing Opiates: Pharmacological Lies and the Addiction Bureaucracy, by Theodore Dalrymple

Psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple argues that almost everything people know about opiate addiction is wrong. Most flawed of all is the notion that addicts are in touch with profound mysteries of which non-addicts are ignorant. Dalrymple shows that doctors, psychologists and social workers, all of them uncritically accepting addicts' descriptions of addiction, have employed literary myths (drugs are creative and intense) in constructing an equal and opposite myth of quasi-treatment. Using evidence from literature and pharmacology and drawing on examples from his own clinical experience, Dalrymple shows that addiction is not a disease, but a response to personal and existential problems. He argues that withdrawal from opiates is not a serious medical condition but a relatively trivial experience, and says that criminality causes addiction far more often than addiction causes criminality.

"A manifesto on addiction by a truth-telling psychiatrist who explodes conventional wisdom. With customary wit and literary forays into Coleridge and De Quincey, Dalrymple turns his raw experience into gems of clinical insight. Addicts are not passive, nor are they diseased; but they have managed, Dalrymple argues, to seduce a vast treatment bureaucracy into regarding them as medical victims."

— Sally Satel, M.D., author of PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness is Corrupting Medicine

I would also urge everyone to read the following essay:

Sentimentality is Poisoning Our Society, by Theodore Dalrymple

6 Replies
SJ
239 days ago

Thank you for being so kind for courageously sharing your thoughts and experience re: the great loss of PSH. PSH will be missed by ones he had an impact on specially his beloved family he left behind. May this be the time to understand addiction, so we can embrace, be sensitive and compassionate towards the ones who fight this disease and support the family members who live with this illness. What happened to spirituality in America? This is a time to grieve a man, an actor, father and partner who lost to a terrible disease.

1 Reply
SJ
239 days ago

Thank you for being so kind for courageously sharing your thoughts and experience re: the great loss of PSH. PSH will be missed by ones he had an impact on specially his beloved family he left behind. May this be the time to understand addiction, so we can be sensitive and compassionate towards the ones who fight this disease and support the family members who live with this illness through patients and kindness. What happened to spirituality in America? This is a time to grieve a man, an actor, father, son and partner who lost to a terrible disease.

SJ
239 days ago

Thank you for being so kind for courageously sharing your thoughts and experience re: the great loss of PSH. PSH will be missed by ones he had an impact on specially his beloved family he left behind. May this be the time to understand addiction, so we can be sensitive and compassionate towards the ones who fight this disease and support the family members who live with this illness through patients and kindness. What happened to spirituality in America? This is a time to grieve a man, an actor, father, son and partner who lost to a terrible disease.

Anonymous
239 days ago

Sarah, you are just so desperate to make yourself look better and it shows. I don't even disagree with Demi, I actually really like her. But I refuse to say Jared was wrong either. People are allowed to express their difference of opinion, but you only want to hear your own. Anyone who disagrees with you "Should be wrong!" You insult others but then cry when anyone disagrees with one of your posts. This isn't the first time you have posted something way too opinionated and controversial. I personally find you somewhat offensive and really only read this site for Emily's posts. I can tell the difference within a few sentences without even having to check to see who wrote it.

Stick with the gossip and stop going off on tangents. I am really sick of you and hope they replace you soon. I don't check a gossip site to be told how to live my life; I check it as a short and small escape from my work and my own life. Stop trying to preach a message or become the next Oprah. I read the ACTUAL NEWS for opinions and news, not a stupid shallow gossip site. And I do read it daily. If you want to preach, go write editorials for a real site. But maybe your problem is that they didn't want you so you settled for this. Not only have you chosen the wrong medium to preach a message, you just aren't very good at it.

Fishwrapper, you've got to start looking for a replacement. There are way too many competitors that offer gossip without the preaching to sustain this site the way it is for much longer.

1 Reply
michael
239 days ago

legalize federally drugs
hoffman died from a bad batch of heroin

if govt controlled and taxed it
would be ok to take instead of illegal sources

prohibition of alcohol did not work

1 Reply
coleen
239 days ago

God bless and keep safe all those still out there struggling with the disease called addiction

1 Reply
Webster
239 days ago

I don't think by agreeing with Jared Padaleck made me slam Philip's death, I'm very sorry he died from this overdose. In my state, addicts aren't shunned and looked down upon, if they have no money they are helped by the government and the addicts families have gone broke sending their relatives back to rehab dozens of times. I don't see where they are "ostracized and alone in their struggles" if they want help
there are various agencies set up here to help them. I just felt you came down too hard on Padaleck because his opinion was different from yours. I heard "care and empathy" in his comment just not in the way you would want to hear. I really don't see where the discussion of addiction is taboo either, it's talked about in the media as an disease all the time, maybe it's the addicts who are not listening.

Paul
239 days ago

I can't stand Demi Lovato. She was a Disney princess who prob thought it was cool to hit the nose candy and it became a problem. Ok, fine. Probably easy to get sucked up in when you're young, rich, famous and have access. The thing is, I don't belive she was ever in the grip of some serious addiction. She just likes the "poor me" attention. It's literally what made her adult career so far. IMO of course. There's nothing tragic about PSH's death. NOTHING. Sad...of course. As a disclaimer, I am a rock musician and do drugs. Never H, bc goddadmn how can you not know how bad it is! I would love to snort coke every day, but I CHOOSE NOT TO! I used to run an Oxy hookup, had them ALL THE TIME! Enjoyed them, but never on an endless loop every day. Ok, maybe others don't have that strength. Calling it a disease though is a cop out. Demi is just a stupid little princess who wants attention wah wah wah. She is no authority on drugs. Little princess snorted some coke at fancy parties...WAAAHHH! that is so lame! Don't even get me started on Bieber's "drug problems". Its all a freaking joke! Now, PSH's use was certainly more serious, and H is no thang to eff with. I've seen it take down some good people. A disease...addiction? Nah, I'm sorry I don't buy it. Saying "don't do drugs" is BS. EDUCATING about drugs, in a real and precise manner would be way more effective. You actually can enjoy drugs recreationally and safely. Know your stuff, know your dealer, and know your limits! Prob stay away from meth, H, and crack. It's hard to have much sympathy when there are people fighting wars, civil rights atrocities around the world, a rough economy, etc. Of course I enjoyed alot of PSH's work, he was a great actor and will be truly missed. If any part of it is tragic, it's the children he leaves behind who now have no father. Be easy people and stay safe out there! One love...

1 Reply
amy
239 days ago

Hello DEMI...cancer is a disease, drug abuse is a choice!! I quit when i said NO MORE...no looking back. I was tired of that life..so no its not a disease!

1 Reply
Kat
239 days ago

If you don't want to die from drugs and have it ruin your life and your families life then just don't do them. She is stupid. Its willpower. Its not a disease.

mpg
239 days ago

A lot of the people hanging around here yesterday did not "slam" PSH's death. They simply stated their position about whether Jared Padalecki had the right to say what he felt. As the self-anointed "compassion" police chief, you obviously felt Padalecki should not be able to speak his mind and should be publicly shamed for it. At least that is what you tried to do. You appear to believe it is your job from your little TMZ throne to dictate who should feel compassion for what cause and who shall be publicity humiliated for not living up to your "compassionate" expectations. You should take your own advice and find a little compassion for those who don't agree with you.

Dess
239 days ago

love Love LOVE this article! Hits the nail right on the head! Now, we've just got to get the rest of the world on board...

Heather
239 days ago

Addiction is not a disease, it's a behavior.

Pete
239 days ago

Drug use is also a personal choice. Yes, addiction is a mental illness, and a very serious one. But people first make the choice, whether or not to use drugs, even before it becomes an illness. And yes demi, they mostly do it for fun, to escape..they do it, becuz they can afford it.

1 Reply
Sara
239 days ago

definition of "disease": a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, esp. one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

in the PSH post yesterday, people kept saying over and over again that he chose to do drugs initially. alcohol is a drug, it's a mind or mood altering substance. so explain to me why some people choose to drink and never become addicted? some people choose to use heroin and don't become addicted (i've met them). or people who take a simple Rx for pain medication and don't become addicted. and addicts aren't all stupid and unintelligent. i've met naval engineers, PHDs, doctors who all became addicts.

I sincerely hope that none of you have the misfortune of becoming addicted yourself, or having a close friend or family member destroyed by addiction. addiction does not = weak. recovering addicts are the strongest people i know. we all have out own problems and shortcomings. it's so hypocritical to judge another when we ourselves are not without fault.

the attitudes and opinions expressed here only fuel the shame and guilt associated with being an addict, even when clean. i just hope that your words will not prevent someone you love from reaching out for the help they so desperately need.

1 Reply
Brian
239 days ago

Demi should tell Miley and The Bieb to clean up their act before they're next. Miley definitely is into glamorizing drugs. Not good.

Alex
239 days ago

It is a disease you fool!!!! Stop with your nonsense!!!

Jessica
239 days ago

It is NOT a disease!! It's all about BAD CHOICES!!!

1 Reply
Drea
239 days ago

Anyone who calls addiction a disease is a moron. Sorry.

I had cancer. I didn't do anything to get cancer, I didn't make a conscious choice to take something that would give me cancer. It was a genetic issue I had no control over.

We are taught at a young age what drugs and alcohol can do to. How it can destroy you, those you love, even take your life. Knowing what it can do and doing it anyway is bad enough... but then to be clean for a few decades, and to "fall off the wagon" and go on a 50+ bags of heroin bender... that's stupidity like Jared said.

He was a grown man who went through addiction and knew what it did to him and those who loved him... then he made the conscious decision to do it again instead of saying "I have this urge and I need to talk to someone... go to AA... anything cause I'm not doing that to myself again"

This wasn't an illness... this was a decision he made, and it ended up being the wrong choice.

2 Replies
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