Demi Lovato recently released a four-part documentary via Youtube, titled Dancing with the Devil. The profoundly candid documentary tracks Demi’s difficult life experiences, specifically focusing on her 2018 overdose and the aftermath of that traumatic and heart-breaking day.
The first episode in the documentary, “Losing Control,” is about the lead-up to Demi’s near-fatal overdose. Demi’s close friends and family are interviewed throughout the documentary to share their perspectives on Demi and her behavior. In this episode, Demi discloses that when she relapsed, she crossed a line she had never crossed before in addiction. More specifically, she reveals that she started using both heroin and crack cocaine in the period leading up to her overdose. Demi discusses how the tight control placed on her by herself, her family, and her team ultimately caused her to snap and turn to alcohol and drugs again. Addiction runs in Demi’s family and her behavior was eerily similar to her late father’s.
The second episode, “5 Minutes from Death”, is focused on Demi’s actual overdose. We learn that Demi had been out for a friend's birthday party and then, once home by herself, called her drug dealer to come over. He gave her Heroin that Demi now knows was laced with fentanyl the night she overdosed. A more shocking revelation from this episode comes when Demi tells us that her drug dealer sexually assaulted her that same night and left her alone in her room, completely incapacitated from the drugs she had consumed. Lovato’s overdose caused her to suffer three strokes and a heart attack. She now has blind spots in her vision and can no longer drive. Demi’s doctor who is interviewed in this episode discloses that if she had been found 5-10 minutes later than she was, she would have died.
“Reclaiming Power,” the third episode, is all about Demi’s road to recovery initially following her overdose. She openly discloses how the night she overdosed was not the last time she used heavy drugs, like Heroin. She admits to relapsing after her stay in rehab but then realized that the high she was searching for could only be achieved through fentanyl (which would kill her). After this one relapse, Demi says she has not used heavy drugs again. However, when asked if she is completely sober, she confesses to drinking alcohol and smoking weed in moderation, reasoning that the restriction of being entirely substance-free did not work for her the first time and only made her want to abuse substances more.
The fourth and final episode of the documentary is titled “Rebirthing.” In this episode, Demi discusses what her life has been like since the global pandemic began in early March of 2020. We learn about both her engagement and break up with Max Ehrich. Demi is also filmed cutting off all her hair, a symbolic gesture to show her newfound freedom. Lastly, the documentary concludes with Demi discussing her sexuality, revealing that she’s sexually fluid and wants to break away from the sexual norms placed on her by her church growing up.
Overall, Dancing with the Devil was definitely worth the watch. The discussion of the important issues of addiction, sexual assault, eating disorders, and sexuality in the documentary help bring awareness and clarity to these complex topics. Although Demi Lovato has been through a lot in her life, she is proof that it is never too late to seek help and change.