Demi Lovato has been hospitalized for a suspected drug overdose. According to TMZ, the pop singer was found unconscious and was treated with Narcan, which is a emergency treatment for overdoses.
She is currently in stable condition. Lovato has been open about her struggles with drugs and alcohol in the past, and how many of these vices are due to the influence of her late father, Patrick Lovato. The singer has said that her father’s own struggles with drugs impacted her as a child, and that her relationship with him as she got older was strained as a result.
Here’s what you need to know about Patrick Lovato:
1. He Encouraged Lovato to Pursue a Career In Music
Patrick Lovato worked as an engineer and a musician before he married Dianna De La Garza in 1984. The couple had two children: Dallas, born 1988, and Demi, born 1992. Patrick encouraged them to pursue a career in music, as he recounted in a 2010 interview. “Ever since she was a little bitty child, she always had that inside of her,” he said of his youngest daughter. “If that’s what she wanted to do, that’s what I wanted her to do.”
Lovato went on to discuss the fears that he had regarding the music industry, but that he felt she would be safe working with Disney Channel. “I didn’t worry about Disney at all,” he said. “I felt like her being with Disney was probably the best thing she could ever do. It was always on the back of my mind that Demi or Dallas would experience the pressures that they’re going through. But that’s just the way it is. If you decided to get into it, that’s just what you do.”
Patrick added: “I did have [some] concerns about that, but I knew she’d be okay. That’s my Demi.”
2. Lovato’s Mother Said That She Feared He Would Hurt the Children
Dianna De La Garza detailed her ten-year marriage to Patrick in the memoir Falling with Wings: A Mother’s Story. She claims that, following the birth of Dallas, Patrick spiraled into drug abuse and was unable to hold a job for very long. She adds that, during a particularly heated argument, he slammed a door so hard on her hand that she lost a finger. De La Garza discovered that she was pregnant with Demi two months later.
“I thought I could change him, and I think victims of domestic abuse often feel the same way,” she explained. “You’re not always going to be able to change someone, no matter how much you want to. There may come a point where your love for that person may not be enough to keep you safe.”
De La Garza said that things got worse after Demi’s birth. “I didn’t know how to leave, and I didn’t have any money,” she explained. “I would call [my friends] every day and talk to them, trying to gain the courage. I would ask them questions like, ‘Am I doing the right thing by splitting up my family?’”
She eventually left Patrick in 1994, citing her children’s safety as the biggest factor. “When I realized they were not safe anymore, no matter how much I loved this person and wanted things to change I knew I had to get out,” she said.
3. Lovato Said That He Suffered from Bipolar Disorder & Schizophrenia
Lovato revealed that her father suffered from several different illnesses, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. “My dad suffered from severe mental illness so at least there’s peace in knowing he’s not suffering anymore,” she said after his 2013 death. “To know that it wasn’t fully his fault really was saddening to me.”
Lovato has been candid with her own struggles, telling that she also suffers from bipolar disorder. “I remember sitting with my manager and my family and talking to them about whether or not to speak out about the issues that I was dealing with,” she told Women’s Health Magazine. “I knew that there were two options: I could either not talk about my stint in rehab and hope that it went away, or I could talk about it and inspire people to get help for their issues, as well, so that’s exactly what I did.”
Dallas Lovato told The Mighty that their father “would rage and yell and throw things as a result of his illnesses, and Demi saw that.” A childhood friend of the family, Marissa Callahan, also spoke on Patrick’s behavior, and the impact that it had on the future pop star. “He would tell them he had cancer when he didn’t”, she said, “or he would tell them he’s dying tomorrow, when he wasn’t.”
In the 2011 song “For the Love of a Daughter,” Lovato details what it was like to grow up with Patrick, and how she often felt disappointed by his actions. In the song, she pleads with her father to “put the bottle down” and asks him: “How could you push me out of your world, lie to your flesh and your blood, put your hands on the ones that you swore you loved?” Lovato also sings: “It’s been five years since we’ve spoken last / And you can’t take back what we never had.”
4. Lovato Has Attributed Her Sobriety Issues to Her Father
Demi Lovato has attributed her substance abuse and sobriety issues to her father, as she explained in the documentary Simply Complicated. “I felt out of control the first time I did it. My dad was an addict and an alcoholic”, she said. “Guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.”
Lovato would go on to write the 2013 song “Shouldn’t Come Back” about the frustrations she felt towards her father for being a negative influence. “Maybe you shouldn’t come back, Maybe you shouldn’t come back to me,” she sings. “Tired of being so sad, tired of getting so mad, baby / Stop right now, you’ll only let me down.”
During the verses, Lovato admits that is also complicit in the distance that developed between them. “Trying not to forget should be easier than this, oh, oh / All the birthdays you’ve missed I was only a kid,” she sings. “Sorry I’m not sorry for the times, I don’t reply; you know the reason why.”
5. Lovato Said She Had ‘Conflicted Feelings’ When Patrick Died In 2013
After Patrick died as a result of cancer, Lovato admitted to her mixed feelings toward him in a YouTube interview. “I was very conflicted when he passed, because he was abusive,” she said. “He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person. And he wanted to have his family, and when my mom married my stepdad, he still had this huge heart. To know that it wasn’t fully his fault really was saddening to me. I wanted to write about it. I wanted to process it.”
Lovato also tweeted about her father’s funeral, and how difficult it was for her to move on. “Today I put my Daddy to rest…. hardest thing I’ve ever done.. But I know great things will come of this…” she tweeted, followed by: “There’s an overwhelming sense of peace knowing my dad is no longer battling his demons anymore and that makes me so happy..”
Lovato wrote the 2015 song “Father” in Patrick’s memory.