Stop Praising Demi While Judging Every Other Addict Around You

Stop Praising Demi While Judging Every Other Addict Around You

Addiction doesn't discriminate and neither should we.


Tonight, my Twitter is topped with thoughts to Demi Lovato. My Facebook is flooded with friends posting about how much their heart breaks for her.

But yesterday, nothing. As if Demi wasn't struggling with her addiction yesterday, as if nobody overdosed yesterday.

In reality, around 115 people overdose on opioids in the United States alone every single day. In reality, Demi Lovato needed your thoughts and prayers yesterday, just as much as she did today.

So tonight, after reading of Demi's hospitalization from an apparent drug overdose, I scanned through the comments. It was filled with lots of thoughts and prayers sent her way, lots of broken hearts, and lots of people saying that we should care because addiction is awful. Lots of truth, sympathy, and love for the addict were found in those comments.

But two posts down, I ran across an article about an actor from an old MTV show called "Wanna Be a VJ." VJ Jess Camp's mugshot filled the page of an article about him being missing, and then luckily, found. The comments in this article were drastically different.

"Probably overdosed in some gutter," one comment said. This mentality followed through the comment section, bashing him for looking like he's been on drugs for years, cracking jokes about how, "This is what drugs do to you, kids," and, as one person said, "This isn't news. He did it to himself. Who even noticed that he was missing?" The comments went on, so on and so forth about his apparent drug addiction (which I can't confirm).

The difference? No sympathy. Some thoughts and prayers were sent his ways and some happiness over him being found, but nothing compared to the love that Demi has been shown. Why? Because we don't know his name? Because he's not a celebrity? Because he's just an average guy?

Am I mad that Demi has been shown lots of love and support? Absolutely not. She needs it. We all need it. Am I mad that we're only sending thoughts and prayers to those with the glory, or even the fact that we needed a near-death experience to notice that people are struggling and need love and support? Absolutely.

You see, I've always been a fan of Demi. As a recovering addict myself, I love how open and honest she has been about addiction, sobriety, and the struggles of it all. We need that message to get out there, and I praise her for that.

About a month ago, when she openly expressed that she had relapsed, there wasn't much talk. Not once did I see someone on my timeline speak about it. She was struggling yesterday, she was struggling last week, she was struggling last month — yet the public turned a blind eye until today when the news broke that she overdosed.


At that point, it's too late. You help as fast and as soon as you can.

But this isn't what I'm most mad about. In the Valley here, we have a big drug problem that most turn a blind eye to. Meth is abundant up here. Addicts are everywhere. In the United States, an opioid epidemic is sweeping the nation. But do I see love and support and prayers for them on the daily? No — not unless a friend of their's has died. It takes someone DYING.

What I see is mocking, I see disgust, I see people tagging their friends in mugshots saying, "Haha, what a loser. I'm not surprised." I see addicts being treated less than. I see addicts being made out to be worthless people. I see addicts being shamed. Over and over again.

Yet, when a celebrity overdoses, an outcry occurs.

Where was that when the woman in the hospital parking lot overdosed? Where was that when the addict froze to death near the river last winter? Where is that EVERY SINGLE DAY?

Where is that for the nearly 20 million Americans suffering from addiction? Where is that for nearly 115 people who overdose every single day who are being scoffed at for being "loser drug addicts?"

She's not the first addict. She won't be the last addict. And she certainly isn't the only addict that matters — that deserves love, support, encouragement, and a community rallying behind her.

Am I bashing the world for showing love to Demi? No. Am I bashing the world for praising Demi while scuffing at the addicts in their town, at their school, on their streets, in their families? Yes.

My heart goes out to Demi Lovato. My heart breaks for her. My prayers are sent her way. But they're sent to everyone else struggling too, everyone else who has lost their battle, everyone else who is hanging on by a thread, and to everyone who loves or has loved an addict.

Addiction is a disease. It takes family, friends, idols, and loved ones. It doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care if you've never touched a drug before then or if you have six years of sobriety under your belt, it does not care who you are, what your social status is, how much money you have — it does not care.

Sober or active, the battle is real. Recovering or using, addicts need your support and your love.

Every. Single. Day.

Every. Single. Hour.

So tonight, when you send your prayers to Demi, when you wonder to yourself, "How could this happen? I can't believe it," I ask you to think of and to pray for those who are struggling right around you. In your town, down your block, in your school, in your state, across the nation. Send prayers and love and support to those around you, those who don't have a nation to help them feel loved or worthy.

Help, stand up, fight with them.

Addiction doesn't discriminate, and neither should we.

Report this Content

Harvard Just Announced Its 2020-21 School Year Will Be Taught Online — At Full $50K Tuition

While students attending degree-granting programs are set to pay the massive bill, Harvard still has widely available public courses that they offer for free.

Harvard University has announced that all classes for the 2020-2021 academic schedule will be held online. However, they will still be charging the typically more than $50,000 price tag to pay for tuition alone — a number that can inflate to more than $70,000 when additional costs are added together.

Keep Reading... Show less

ICE To International Students With Remote Fall Classes: Transfer Or Face Deportation

The new rule aims to pressure universities into holding in-person classes this fall.

In a news release on Monday, ICE announced that "The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States."

Keep Reading... Show less

Elijah McClain's Case Is Being Reopened — His Family Is Still Waiting For Justice

The killing of an innocent Black man will be reinvestigated, and that news that brought me to tears.

9News / YouTube

On August 24, 2019, in Aurora, CO, a 23-year-old Black man named Elijah McClain was walking home from a convenience store after buying iced tea for his brother. He was wearing a ski mask because he was anemic and easily got cold. He was listening to music and dancing while he walked when someone called 911 on this Black man simply walking home.

Keep Reading... Show less

Despite COVID-19, Alabamans Return To Beaches

Noncompliance with CDC recommendations on beaches may contribute to outbreaks in Republican-controlled states.

Last week, I was in Orange Beach, AL. It, along with other Alabama beaches, seems to be quickly becoming a hotspot for coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, yet one could not discern this by observing the behavior of beachgoers. The situation on the ground was absolutely bonkers, and no one seemed to even be aware of the ongoing pandemic. Several restaurants that my family and I frequently visit on our annual trips to the beach had closed their doors this year due to an employee or employees contracting the virus. But at the ones that remained open, people neither wore masks nor maintained social distance.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Supreme Court Just Said Employers Can Deny Covering Birth Control, And It Wasn't Even A Close Vote

"Today, for the first time, the Court casts totally aside countervailing rights and interests in its zeal to secure religious rights to the nth degree..." — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Supreme Court today ruled in line with the Trump Administration that your employer or university can deny covering birth control based on "religious or moral objection."

Keep Reading... Show less

With everything going on in the world, racism is more widely visible than ever. Racism is prejudice and discrimination directed against a person or people because of their particular racial or ethnic group, for those who seem to not understand. It is not having a different opinion.

Keep Reading... Show less

The US Might Ban TikTok As A Threat To National Security, Because It's 2020, And Of Course

Pompeo's sense of "national security" issues with the app could be unfounded.

Recently, China has passed a national security law in Hong Kong that has the potential to severely limit the freedoms that the people of Hong Kong have had for 50 years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments