Five years after Demi Lovato experienced a near-fatal overdose, the 30-year-old singer continues to live with long-term complications, including partial hearing and vision loss, she recently shared on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy, per E! News.
The topic came up when Lovato told Cohen that she wouldn’t change her life’s path despite its challenges. “The closest thing that I get to a regret is when I overdosed,” they explained. “It actually caused a disability. I have vision impairment and hearing impairment to this day.” She doesn’t drive because of “blind spots” in her vision. In fact, she said she couldn’t fully see Cohen during their interview.
These life-altering complications serve as a “constant reminder to stay on the right path,” she said, “because I never want that to happen again.”
In July 2018, emergency medical personnel reportedly transported Lovato to a Los Angeles hospital after responding to a call of an overdose. Lovato said she took OxyContin which she believes also contained fentanyl, another synthetic opioid. Research has shown that opioids can cause auditory and visual damage in the form of blurred vision, double vision, partial or total vision loss, progressive or sudden hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo, among other effects.
In the weeks before Lovato’s overdose, she was using various substances, as SELF previously reported. “I’d never done meth before, I tried meth. I mixed it with molly, with coke, weed, alcohol, OxyContin. And that alone should have killed me,” she said in her 2021 YouTube docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, per ET Online.
The overdose also caused her to have three strokes and a heart attack. “I was left with brain damage,” she said. For a couple of months, she had a “really hard time reading,” they added, “because my vision was so blurry.”
Now that she’s sober, the “Confident” singer is “in a more positive mind space,” she told Cohen. “I’m not focusing on the shame at all because I have a lot of sympathy for where I was at at that time and the choices that I made, and I understand why it happened and what happened. But there’s no shame that comes with it because it was just a life lesson that I had to learn.”
Instead, she chooses to focus on the fact that she survived. “It could’ve been so much worse,” they said. “I’m grateful that it is only what it is.”