A popular singer could have lost her life, but treatment advocates say her struggle with addiction could save others. Demi Lovato is in stable condition Wednesday night after authorities used narcan to revive her from a reported heroin overdose. Though her representatives have yet to confirm it was heroin, the ordeal is starting a conversation on social media about drug addiction.
Lovato seems to have it all: multiple awards, six albums, and millions of fans.
All of that could help in the fight against addiction.
“Anytime that drug use gets into the public eye, especially when someone’s life is either saved or lost, when they get to that point awareness goes way up,” Jon Sommervold, Executive Director of Tallgrass Recovery, said.
Local law enforcement officers have talked about the increasing rates of heroin and opioid abuse and overdoses. Sommervold hopes high profile cases like Lovato’s help others find treatment.
“Years ago, addiction was just the stuff of the low class. Now, addiction crosses every single demographic. And that’s an important part of the conversation we’re allowed to have now,” Sommervold said.
When it comes to heroin, or any number of substances, it can be easy to relapse. Sommervold says it’s important to recognize treatment is not a cure.
“There’s a lot of social pressure, especially when you’re successful, that everything must be ok and sometimes it’s just not,” Sommervold said.
Unlike Lovato, not everyone has millions of fans. Sommervold hopes this helps people recognize that anyone who struggles with addiction still needs support.
“The number one thing to do is communicate. Communicate with that individual. Communicate with professionals who can help that individual. Never stop talking,” Sommervold said.
To find appropriate resources for help, visit the 211 Helpline’s website.