Senior Staff Therapist Bill Coffey Comments on Demi Lovato’s Tragic Relapse

August 1, 2018 | Bill Coffey, MSS, LCSW is a Senior Staff Therapist at our Center City and Voorhees, New Jersey locations. Bill has decades of experience working with individuals, couples, and families in recovery.

Whether or not you believe that substance abuse or addiction is a disease, the fact that it is a leading health hazard and cause of death is indisputable. The current opioid crisis attests to this as more people die every day from opiate overdoses. One of the scariest and most baffling aspects of addiction is that one is never fully “out of the woods” in recovery. Many individuals in recovery, regardless of the length of time clean and sober are just one drink, one line or one shoot up away from a relapse.

Take, for instance, the latest high profile celebrity who recently relapsed after six years of sobriety. Demi Lovato joins a very long list of celebrities who were sober for several years, but had the misfortune of relapsing. This is a very common phenomenon associated with a disease that has a 80% recidivism rate.

Ms. Lovato, despite her popularity and celebrity, is no more immune to relapse than any other person in recovery. For some, it is a daily struggle to beat back the demons that put people at risk for self- medicating their mood or anxiety issues. Life stressors do not go away when one stops drinking or drugging; those in recovery need to learn how to manage them without resorting to the old, but ineffective manner once employed.

Since Ms. Lovato knows from her past what to do to stay sober, let’s hope she’ll find her way back.

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