Demi Lovato ‘Should Be Commended’ For Getting Help, Dr. Drew Says

Addiction expert discusses troubled starlet on MTV's 'The Seven.'

As reports continue to swirl about Demi Lovato’s ongoing troubles, addiction specialist and “Celebrity Rehab” host Dr. Drew Pinsky recently said the Disney star deserves to be acknowledged for attempting to resolve her issues.

“Demi should be commended for having gone for treatment and help,” Dr. Drew said during a sit-down on MTV’s “The Seven” on Wednesday (November 10). “Just because somebody has a medical problem, we shouldn’t, in any way, judge or condemn them. We should really acknowledge and really support them for being a good role model for taking care of themselves.”

Ever since Lovato left her tour with the Jonas Brothers last week to deal with “emotional and physical issues,” speculation about the nature of the teen starlet’s struggles, which have included reports of cutting and substance abuse, has dominated the media. Dr. Drew maintained that, according to what he has heard about Lovato’s condition, drugs and alcohol do not seem to have come into play.

“It sounds like she may have been admitted to a psychiatric hospital because the kinds of issues that are being discussed are around depression, cutting — really psychiatric issues,” Dr. Drew said about the star, who is recuperating at the Timberline Knolls treatment center in Illinois, according to reports cited by “The Seven.” “Unless she was doing drugs, she’s not going to rehab. Rehab is for chemical dependency exclusively.”

Lovato’s rep also shot down rumors Wednesday that the star was struggling with substance-abuse issues.

“Demi Lovato is not in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction,” her spokesperson said in a statement. “As we have said since she entered treatment last week, Demi decided to seek help for emotional and physical issues she has battled throughout her life. She has taken this step in order to get her life in order.”

Dr. Drew said that among the issues that may have contributed to Lovato’s current struggles is the lack of normalcy the teen star has been afforded as a globe-trotting, superstar entertainer.

“Young kids that don’t have a chance to really go through the usual developmental milestones and develop with their peers and to have a simple life, it can be problematic for [some of them]. It pulls them out of the usual experiences that kids need to grow up,” he said. “They tend to always blame themselves and internalize whatever is going on in their life. So now you do that to a 16-year-old, and you’ve got real trouble.”

Dr. Drew insisted that Lovato must put her recovery before her work in order to successfully overcome this difficult period.

“The important thing for Demi when she has finished treatment, whatever treatment it is she has received, is that she have adequate and thorough follow-up care, follows the direction of her team of professionals and that she doesn’t return to work too prematurely,” he said. “The number-one reason my patients that are celebrities get in trouble is they go back to work because they make a lot of money for themselves and other people. It’s very gratifying, but it takes them out of their treatment.”

Share your well-wishes for Demi in the comments.

Don’t miss “The Seven” every weekday at 5 p.m. ET on MTV.