[CW: the following article discusses drug and alcohol addiction and sexual assault.]
Grammy-nominated pop singer, LGBTQ+ icon, and former Disney star Demi Lovato released new single "Dancing With The Devil" ahead of upcoming album Dancing With The Devil, The Art of Starting Over, which is set to be released on April 2.
Earlier this year, Lovato premiered her docu-series "Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil," which consists of four episodes, each approximately 30 minutes long. The series narrates Lovato's struggles with her health, beginning with the events and circumstances which led to her overdose and explaining the aftermath and societal pressure, which continue to affect Lovato's treatment and recovery process.
Although there were a number of wild rumors surrounding the cause of the overdose, Lovato sets the record straight from the start of the documentary. Following six years of sobriety from her serious addiction to cocaine and Xanax, Lovato began using pot and alcohol recreationally. Soon after, she began smoking crack cocaine and methamphetamines, keeping her disease private from friends, family, and the general public. On July 24, 2018, she overdosed, smoking opioids laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl, a potent opioid which appears in some prescription medicines, is extremely dangerous on its own. When used with other drugs, risk of overdose and fatality increases exponentially. In recent years, statistics have shown a significant spike in fentanyl-related overdoses; street drugs, such as heroin, methamphetamine, molly, and ecstasy are often laced with fentanyl or other dangerous synthetic opioids, unbeknownst to users. In 2018, more than 31,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids occurred in the United States, more than any other type of opioid. Synthetic opioid-involved death rates increased by 10% from 2017 to 2018 and accounted for 67% of opioid-involved deaths in 2018.
Lovato suffered several strokes (which left her partially blind), a heart attack, and severe oxygen deprivation. During her recovery process, she discovered that the person who gave her the drugs sexually assaulted her while she was incapacitated.
Lovato's bravery and resilience is captured in the evocative single "Dancing With The Devil." She chronicles her battles with addiction and relapse artfully and honestly: "I was dancing with the devil / Out of control / Almost made it to heaven / It was closer than you know / Playing with the enemy / Gambling with my soul / It’s so hard to say no."
The contrast between the quiet, pensive moments of the verses and the explosive chorus mirrors the volatility of Lovato's disease and reflects the extent to which it has impacted her.