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Demi Lovato isn’t the Only Person in Hollywood Battling with Heroin Use

By JaVonni Brustow / Published on Friday, 27 Jul 2018 07:31 AM / No Comments
Photo Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Pop star Demi Lovato was just hospitalized on Tuesday for a heroin overdose. As soon as the news broke, social media became filled with sentiments of shock from the public that she would even be using the drug to begin with. The irony is that she had just celebrated 6 years of sobriety after going into rehab at 18 for hurting herself, being bulimic, suffering from depression and bullying. The straw that broke the camel’s back is her punching a backup dancer back then. In her defense, doesn’t everyone want to punch their backup dancers and singers? Remember Mariah Carey’s famous snap “Quit singin’ my part now baby” that she quipped at a backup singer in 2008 or look at Jennifer Lopez. She dated her backup dancer Casper Smart and he cheated. I bet she wishes she had punched him now if she hasn’t already.

But for all of this outrage about Demi Lovato, she isn’t the only person in Hollywood that’s suffered from heroin abuse. In fact, it isn’t all that uncommon in America. By the time Donald Trump was elected President, heroin addiction had been designated an epidemic. Keep in mind heroin can serve as a pain killer and people who have become addicted to pain killers often switch to heroin because it’s cheaper and doesn’t require a prescription. We also have an opioid crisis which is what lead to Kanye having a breakdown in 2017. It could have been worse. He could have gotten addicted to heroin like Demi did.


Entertainers are just a microcosm of what’s going on in the rest of society. “That heroin is used in the entertainment industry and that group of individuals is nothing new. We could have been having this conversation 60 years ago, in the 1950s, when heroin use was huge among jazz musicians,” Dr. Jason Jerry, director of the Cleveland Clinic, told ABC News after Philip Seymour Hoffman died literally in the act of using heroin 4 years ago. “Entertainers are just probably more in the spotlight than the rest of the population so we hear about it more,” he said.

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“There are people who go everyday using a little bit of heroin and you would never know it,” said Dr. Joseph Strand of Harvard Medical School. “Perhaps it’s hidden better (because) it’s not culturally condoned.” As with all things turned into cultural pariahs, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t still occur.

“In certain professions where there is high stress there is a greater proclivity to people using alcohol or drugs to get rid of that kind of stress,” Strand said. “Part of what may be happening in some people is there is this sense of invulnerability, they have this high profile, visible profile and other people give them all this acclaim, and there is a sense that nothing bad can ever happen to me.”

“Certainly there is the idea that type-A personalities gravitate toward stimulants because they feel it increases their productivity and boosts their performance, at least initially,” said Jerry.

Glee star Cory Monteith died at 31 in 2013 from a mix of alcohol and heroin use. He went into rehab at 19 after doing drugs since he became a teenager at 13. Despite a successful acting career, he brought his habits into Hollywood after having social issues growing up after his parents divorced when he was an adolescent. His father wasn’t around since he was serving in the military and you know what devastating of a blow that likely played with him as a child. He skipped school until he dropped out at 16 and was stealing money from friends and family to fund his habit. He managed to make it out of his former life of being a Wal-Mart greeter, but he was never able to shake his drug addiction.

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Angelina Jolie was drug tested every day on set for Tomb Raider in 2001. It’s hard to imagine that from Angelina Jolie but people forget she was a heroin using wild child of which heroin was just one of a list of drugs she regularly used. She was cast for the role ironically based on her image but it equally was of concern that she would be able to even get through the film… but of course she did. This was years before she became the U.N. ambassador and humanitarian she is today. And if you were to tell us in 2005 when she first got with Brad Pitt that she would be the sober one and Brad Pitt, now her ex-husband would be the one to fall off the bandwagon we would have laughed in your face. That doesn’t mean that sobriety isn’t a daily struggle for Angelina. Relapse can always be right around the corner for any addict. Over 90% of heroin addicts in recovery relapse.

Courtney Love used heroin with her husband Kurt Cobain who committed suicide. She has admitted to using heroin during her first trimester of being pregnant back in 1992 with her daughter Frances Bean Cobain. Courtney has said that she wasn’t aware she was pregnant at the time and the revelation likely had a lot to do with Kurt’s suicide. While relatively staying out of the news as of late, her erratic behavior is legendary. She has attacked airline stewards, fans at concerts with mics, mic stands and as recently as 2 months ago been sued for attempting to carry out a murder plot against her former son-in-law Isaiah Silva. It’s pretty safe to say staying sober has ben a challenge for her over the years.

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Demi Lovato’s hospital treatment was a matter of life and death where she could have died had she not been treated as soon as she was according to TMZ. It’s been a long time coming for the Sorry Not Sorry singer who has said she was suicidal as far back as 7 years old in the past. The important part is that someone sought out help for her on her behalf. Fans and others in the industry have voiced their support with Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland going as far as getting a tattoo of Demi to show her support. We’re going to be saying a prayer for her in the meantime that Demi gets better and hope she knows she has fans who care about her well being.

About JaVonni Brustow

Urban Conservative, Principal at VM3 Media, Co-Editor-in-Chief of and, Javonni Brustow is a Communications and Media Consultant in Washington, DC with a decade of experience as a seasoned concert producer, marketing expert and brand management expert with multiple news publications. He can be heard LIVE Sundays at 3pm on Popglitz Radio and is a regular on the 'Did She Say That' Breitbart Radio Show with Sonnie Johnson. Inquiries: [email protected]