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Demi Lovato just revealed the inspiring reason why they’re no longer “California sober”

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Lauren Geall
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Demi Lovato on the Jimmy Fallon show

Speaking during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Lovato confirmed that they had returned to rehab at the end of last year – and discussed the important realisation they had in the process.

Demi Lovato isn’t one to shy away from difficult conversations. From their experiences with bipolar disorder to their struggles with addiction, the singer, songwriter and actor has repeatedly used their platform to speak out about the challenges they’ve faced throughout their life.

And now, in the run-up to the release of their eighth studio album, Lovato has opened up about their challenges once again – this time, in regard to their return to rehab at the end of last year.

Speaking during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to mark the release of their album’s first single, Skin Of My Teeth, Lovato revealed the upcoming album had been made while they were “clean and sober”, thanks to a decision they made while in treatment. 

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“I’ve definitely been through a ton. That’s no secret to the world,” Lovato said. “After going through even more stuff last year – I came out of treatment again – and I realised I really want to do this for myself, and I want to make the best album possible, something that really represents who I am.”

They continued: “I think the best way to do that – and the easiest way to do that, and the most authentic – is to do it clean and sober. I made this album clean and sober. I can’t say that about my last album, but this one I’m really proud about.” 

While Lovato had previously spoken about their decision to go “California sober” (which they defined as only drinking alcohol and smoking weed), the star announced their intention to go fully sober in an Instagram Story posted at the start of December last year, in which they said they “no longer support” the idea of California Sober.

This was around the same time reports emerged that Lovato had completed rehab for a third time – a moment Lovato refers to in the opening line of their new single, which was released over the weekend.  

“Demi leaves rehab again / When is this shit gonna end?” the song begins. “Sounds like the voice in my head / I can’t believe I’m not dead.” 

The single also goes on to reference Lovato’s previous struggles with addiction. “I’m alive by the skin of my teeth / I survived but it got harder to breathe / Asking why doesn’t make it easier, go easier on me / Goddamn it I just want to be free / But I can’t ‘cause it’s a fuckin’ disease.”

While it’s clear that, as Lovato aptly put it, they’ve “been through a ton”, it’s great to see them speaking about the struggles they’ve faced and transforming their experiences into music, and we wish them all the best.  

To access support for addiction and dependency, including dedicated helplines you can call, you can visit the Mind website

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.