Demi Lovato Is 'Proud' They Made Their New Album 'Clean and Sober'
Demi Lovato has been candid about their mental health and ongoing struggles with addiction in their music and in interviews. As the singer prepares to release their new album, they're revealing that they proudly created it while "clean and sober" — a departure from their last album, which they made while California sober (more on that later).
On June 9, Lovato appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to discuss their upcoming album Holy Fvck. The new work is inspired by Lovato's time in treatment for substance abuse in late 2021, the 29-year-old told Fallon. "I've definitely been through a ton; that's not secret to the world," they said. (Related: Demi Lovato Is Living Their Life 'As Loudly As Possible' Since Coming Out as Non-Binary)
"After going through even more stuff last year, I came out of treatment again and I realized, I really want to do this for myself, and I want to make the best album possible — something that really represents who I am," explained Lovato. "The best way to do that and the easiest way to do something the most authentic is to do it clean and sober. So I made this album clean and sober," they said. "I can't say that about my last album, but this one, I'm really, really proud about."
The "Skin of My Teeth" singer was referring to Dancing with the Devil... the Art of Starting Over, an album released in 2021 that features a song titled "California Sober." ICYDK, the term California sober refers to cutting out or cutting back on addictive substances and replacing them with "less harmful" alternatives, according to the Cleveland Clinic. For instance, some people use the phrase to describe giving up alcohol while still using marijuana.
At the time of their 2021 album release, Lovato drank alcohol and smoked marijuana "in moderation," they shared in their YouTube docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil. However, they were "done with the stuff that's going to kill me," they said in the documentary, referring to drugs, such as heroin. The admission came after Lovato survived a near-fatal overdose in 2018, relapsing after six years of sobriety.
While it may work for some people, the California sober method can be a "slippery slope," psychiatrist and addiction specialist Akhil Anand, M.D. told the Cleveland Clinic. "You're replacing one addictive substance with another." (FYI: These are the signs your casual drinking could be a problem.)
In December 2021, Lovato decided to become completely sober, reports People. "I no longer support my 'California sober' ways," they wrote on Instagram Stories. "Sober sober is the only way to be."
Lovato's journey is a reminder that recovery from addiction of any kind is rarely linear, and it's often a life-long process with setbacks along the way. They certainly seem to be in a better place now, and their fans are always rooting for them to succeed...and eagerly awaiting new music.
For more information on drug addiction or to get help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a free, confidential 24-hour hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)