When Demi Lovato overdosed in July 2018, details that were made public at the time were only the tip of the iceberg. But now, that's all changing. The "OK Not to Be OK" singer has opened up about what really happened that day — along with the lingering health issues she continues to face.
Demi Lovato opened up about her overdose in 'Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil.'
On March 16, 2021, Demi's new documentary premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, resulting in a number of shocking revelations about her overdose. For the first time, the public learned just how close she came to death, that she was allegedly sexually assaulted, and that she was legally blind when she woke up in the hospital.
On July 24, 2018, Demi went out with her friends to celebrate her former creative director Dani Vitale's birthday. They all went back to Demi's house afterward. However, Demi ended up calling her dealer at 5:30 in the morning once everyone had left.
No one in her inner circle was aware that she had started using again.
It was Jordan Jackson, Demi's assistant at the time, who found her when she arrived to drive Demi to a doctor's appointment.
"I opened the door really slowly. It was really dark and cold in her room. I kinda got chills, honestly. I thought that she was just drunk or hungover," Jordan explained in the documentary, according to Us Weekly. "I started to nudge her a little bit, like, let's get up now, it's time to go. She wasn’t really moving, she was, like, drooling."
Demi's head of security, Max Lea, ended up sending his team to the house. "She was propped up, vomit everywhere, but she was on her back, which isn't good," he said, per Us Weekly. "I told them, 'Put her on her side. Clear her throat.'"
Eventually, police arrived and administered Narcan. In the meanwhile, Demi had turned blue.
"It was just like, she’s dead for sure," Jordan said.
Is Demi Lovato blind?
Demi previously opened up about her overdose in February 2021, during a Television Critics Association panel while promoting Dancing With the Devil. It was revealed then that Demi had suffered three strokes and a heart attack — along with pneumonia and multiple-organ failure after overdosing.
The singer was surprised when she eventually woke up in a hospital because she thought it wasn't possible to overdose since she was smoking and not injecting heroin. Later, it was discovered that the heroin was laced with fentanyl.
When Demi first woke up after overdosing, she was also shocked to discover that she was "legally blind" — which in the U.S. means you have visual acuity of 20/200 or less and/or a visual field of 20 degrees or less, according to Fightingblindness.org.
In the documentary Demi's younger sister, Madison De La Garza, recounted how Demi didn't recognize her at all when she visited her sister at the hospital. "She looked me dead in the eye and said 'Who is that?'" Madi said in the documentary, according to People. "That's something you never want to hear your sister say."
“I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with the effects of that today,” she said at the time, according to Us Weekly. “I don’t drive a car because I have blind spots in my vision. I also, for a long time, had a really hard time reading. My vision was so blurry.”
It took roughly two months for Demi to recover enough of her sight in order to read a book, according to The New York Times. And because of her blind spots, it was practically impossible for her to see things head-on; she was forced to look at her phone using peripheral vision and typed with the help of voice notes.
It's unclear how clearly Demi is able to see today — and whether she's still considered to be legally blind — but it seems that her vision has improved in the years since her overdose. Hopefully, fans will learn more details about her lingering health issues when Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil drops on March 23 on YouTube.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
If you need support, The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be connected with a trained staff member in your area. Or visit RAINN.org to chat online with a support specialist at any time.