Demi Lovato opens up about the survivor's guilt she feels in the face of DMX's drug overdose

'Every day is a day that I need to be counting my blessings.'
Published April 7, 2021 1:36 p.m. EST
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Demi Lovato’s 2018 overdose nearly killed her and coming through it has left her with even more empathy for people struggling with substance abuse issues — to the degree that she says she feels a kind of “survivor’s guilt” when the outcome of an overdose isn’t as positive as hers was.

In an interview with TMZ Live earlier today, the singer said that seeing rapper DMX (whose real name is Earl Simmons) on life support following an overdose and heart attack last week has really affected her. “Any time I see someone OD or pass away that’s in the public eye I immediately think, ‘That could have been you had you not been putting all this work into the last couple of years of your life,’” she told the outlet.

Lovato, who just released her seventh studio album, Dancing With The Devil… The Art of Starting Over, elaborated, saying “There’s times I’ve felt, like, feeling survivor’s guilt. You do ask yourself, ‘Why am I still here, why are others not?’ It’s challenging. I have to realize that every day is a day that someone else doesn’t get.”

Explaining that she’s currently “California sober” Lovato says that she drinks and smokes pot, but does both in moderation, adding that after open, honest conversations with her treatment team, she found a “middle path” that works for her. Three years ago, it was heroin and fentanyl-laced oxycodone that caused her to OD.

DMX is reported to be in hospital in a “vegetative state” following his overdose. His family (via People)  has asked fans to “keep Earl/DMX and us in your thoughts, wishes, and prayers as well as respect our privacy as we face these challenges.” It is also worth it to note that according to People, the rapper's attorney Murray Richman did not confirm whether the heart attack was caused by an overdose.

On Tuesday, hundreds of supporters as well as some of DMX’s children attended a vigil for the rapper outside of the New York state hospital where he is being treated. His ex-wife Tashera Simmons and his fiancee Desiree Lindstrom were also present. 

"The Simmons Family appreciates the overwhelming outpouring of heartfelt love, encouragement, support and prayers for Earl,” reads a statement from DMX’s rep. “Earl is someone whose life and music have been a source of inspiration and strength to so many people around the world. It is reassuring to see his fans return that same passion and energy to him during his time of need."

DMX recovered from a previous overdose in 2016 after medics showed up in time to administer the emergency opioid overdose medication, Narcan.


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