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'They said I had 5 to 10 minutes': Demi Lovato recalls details of near-fatal 2018 drug overdose in YouTube docuseries

When Demi Lovato overdosed on drugs in July 2018, she also had 3 strokes and a heart attack. Now, the singer is setting the record straight on what really happened
Credit: YouTube

WARNING: This story includes topics such as eating disorders, sexual allegations, and drug use that may be difficult for some readers.

Doctors said Demi Lovato had five to ten minutes left to live after a drug overdose on July 24, 2018. Now, a little less than three years later, the pop star is sharing the details of that moment and everything that led up to it in a new YouTube Originals docuseries "Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil.”  

On Tuesday, the first two episodes of the four-part series became available for the world to see. The two 20-minute episodes dive into Lovato’s family history of addiction, as well as battles with mental illness similar to the conversations in her 2017 YouTube Originals documentary "Simply Complicated.”

But while "Simply Complicated” showcased Lovato’s intense obsession for working out and a team around her that constantly focused on her wellbeing, Lovato now says being closely monitored by former agents, therapists, nutritionists, and gym trainers and more ultimately led to an eating disorder relapse.

"There were times that I had to stay the night because she like….ate a cookie,” Lovato's former assistant Jordan Jackson said.

"Maybe the control she had with her last team was put in place to help her so she wouldn’t relapse in her eating disorder, but it totally backfired. The control and restriction was way too toxic for her. She was miserable,” Lovato's friend Matthew Scott Montgomery said. 

Then, in 2018, the once six-years-sober Lovato said she relapsed on drugs after feeling miserable and questioning her sobriety at a photoshoot. She said she bought red wine that night and called a person she knew would have drugs.

"I’m surprised I didn’t OD that night,” Lovato said.

Lovato then went to a party where she ran into her old drug dealer from six years ago.

"I just went to town. I went on a shopping spree.”

That night, she tried drugs she never had before, mixing meth with molly, cocaine, weed, alcohol, oxycontin. Days after, Lovato told friends that she was drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana again, but did not mention other drugs. Two weeks later, Lovato was using crack cocaine and heroin recreantly.

"Obviously, you can't do that with heroin before you become addicted to it,” Lovato said. 

Despite Lovato's friend telling her she needed help after finding Lovato doing drugs in the bathroom at a game night with friends, Lovato said she realized she was once again dependent on drugs while on vacation in Bali. That's where she wrote "Sober.”

Lovato then went on the European leg of her "Tell Me You Love Me” tour where she said she stayed away from everything except alcohol and marijuana. But once she returned home, she used hard drugs again.

"And I was like,” she said, shrugging her shoulders, "I always wanted to try it.” 

Additionally, Lovato also said she was sexually taken advantage of by a drug dealer on the night of her overdose. She alleges that she invited him over and he left her for dead after giving her drugs laced with fentanyl. Her former assistant was the first to find Demi’s naked and blue-colored body alone in her bedroom.

"When I woke up in the hospital they asked if I 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. It 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.'”

On top of the sexual trauma, Lovato also suffered three strokes, a heart attack, brain damage, and spotty vision that now makes her unable to drive.

In a heart-wrenching, full circle revelation, Lovato’s younger sister Madison De La Garza recalls Demi's inability to see her at her bedside in the hospital. The irony comes as years prior, the first time Lovato had issues with drugs, her parents said she would have to be sober to see Madison.

“I know that's not what they [my parents] literally meant. I know they meant it metaphorically. It’s really ironic and in a weird way poetic that it ended up happening like that,” Lovato said. “...I think that God has a twisted sense of humor sometimes.” 

But Demi’s story isn’t over yet. Two new episodes will be released over the next two weeks. These will look into Lovato’s more recent life changes, including a failed engagement to actor and singer Max Ehrich and chopping her long locks for a shorter haircut in the wake of a new album era.

Lovato’s album “Dancing With the Devil...The Art of Starting Over” is available on April 2.