There is a likely chance you have heard the name Demi Lovato.

If you don’t know who Demi Lovato is, Demi is a singer and actress who started her acting career on Barney at four years old and truly rose to fame in the majorly successful Disney original film franchise “Camp Rock.” Her first solo record quickly followed the success of Camp Rock, “Here We Go Again,” which debuted on the Hot 100 Charts at number one. At a very young age, Demi Lovato was accomplishing things that many could only dream of achieving in their entire lifetime. In the public eye, Demi appeared to be the clean-cut Disney Channel star that any parent would be happy that their child was looking up to. However, behind the scenes, Demi was fighting many battles. Demi was battling substance abuse and an eating disorder.

On a recent episode of the podcast “Call her Daddy.”  Demi shared that struggles with addiction have been a common theme in her family; Her birth father was both an alcoholic and an addict and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, while her mother battled an eating disorder and was abusing Xanax. In addition, it’s been researched that children with addicted parents are likelier to have addictive personalities and become addicts. Demi recounted in this same episode of Call Her Daddy that the seeds of her eating disorder were planted when she started acting and competing in beauty pageants as a child. The pressure to be “beautiful” is incredibly high in both industries. Demi recounted that she felt her eating disorder officially started in junior high after being bullied by her peers and receiving notes that had messages like “Demi should kill herself.”

In 2009 at 17 years old, Demi met a group of friends who drank, partied, and did drugs regularly. This friend group was who influenced her to try cocaine for the first time. Demi recalled initially being scared to try the drug as her mom told her that her heart would stop if she ever did cocaine. However, after trying it for the first time, she became hooked. Demi’s issues with addiction and self-harm all came to a head in 2010 when she had a physical altercation with a backup dancer who had “told on her” for her drug use. After the altercation, Demi remembers texting her mom, “I’m sorry,” and sleeping the rest of the day. Demi was checked into a rehabilitation center the next day.

Demi’s recovery story has not been linear. She has had great success in her recovery and sobriety journey, with all of the highs followed by lows. Demi has relapsed, returned to rehab multiple times, and even had a near-fatal overdose in 2018. As Demi has been in the public eye since she’s been a teenage idol, it is important to have conversations with your teen about their celebrity idols. It’s important to talk to your children, understand their idols, and have open conversations such as; What can your child learn from them? And remind your teen that at the end of the day, their idol is still a person experiencing their own issues.