August 5, 2018 / 10:51 PM / 9 days ago

Singer Demi Lovato speaks out, says will keep fighting addiction

(Reuters) - U.S. pop singer Demi Lovato spoke out on Sunday about her battle with addiction, saying she needed “time to heal and focus on my sobriety” days after media reports said she was taken to a Los Angeles hospital suffering from a suspected overdose.

FILE PHOTO: Singer and actress Demi Lovato arrives at the 2017 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 19, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

“I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction,” the 25-year-old Grammy-nominated recording artist wrote on Instagram. “What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.”

Lovato, who has spoken openly in the past about her history of drug and alcohol abuse, thanked God, her friends and her fans, saying that their positive thoughts and prayers had helped her navigate “this difficult time.”

Singer Demi Lovato performs at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

She also thanked her family, team and the staff at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Hollywood, who she said had been at her side since she was admitted on July 24. “Without them I wouldn’t be here writing this letter to all of you,” Lovato wrote.

“I now need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery,” she said. “The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side. I will keep fighting.”

The New Mexico-born performer rose to fame on Disney Channel shows “Camp Rock” and “Sonny with a Chance” before forging a pop career with hits such as “Skyscraper” and “Sorry Not Sorry.”

In a 2017 YouTube documentary, “Simply Complicated,” Lovato spoke about years of substance abuse, eating disorders, and drinking, saying she first started using cocaine when she was 17. She entered rehab at the age of 18 and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Bill Trott

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