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Demi Lovato’s Mother Felt Powerless to Curtail Her Daughter’s Excessive Lifestyle: Source

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Demi Lovato’s recent apparent overdose shocked many, including those in her family who may have felt powerless to help her in the past.

A source who was formerly in the singer’s inner circle tells PEOPLE Lovato’s mother, Dianna De La Garza, was “aware” of her struggles with substance abuse but did not feel she could address her daughter’s issues — as the singer was the one paying the bills.

“Her mother’s a very sweet person who has zero — when I say zero, she has zero say,” the insider says of De La Garza’s experiences with her daughter’s previous downward spiral. “I’ve worked with a lot of kids. All those mothers , become not-mothers. They become slaves to their kids.”

“Demi’s mother was like a slave to her,” the source continues. “Anything Demi wanted . Even at 16, she’s like, ‘I’m paying the bills of this house, this house is my house.’”

The source adds De La Garza “loves her daughter and she really wants her daughter to get better.”

In February, the mother of three opened up to PEOPLE about her famous daughter’s tortured past from her Disney days to her recent successes.

De La Garza — a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader — revealed in her 2018 memoir Falling with Wings that Lovato began to spiral at the age of 16, disobeying curfew and even meddling in drugs and alcohol.

“Every night, I’d set an alarm for 2:00 a.m. If she wasn’t , I called her until she walked through the front door. What do you say to your child when she is the one paying most of the bills?” De La Garza wrote in her book.

In November of 2010, Lovato was on tour with the Jonas Brothers and crossed a line when she punched a backup dancer in the face on an airplane. Her mother knew she needed help and rushed to her daughter.

RELATED: Demi Lovato’s Mom Recalled the ‘Shocking’ Moment Her Daughter Admitted Using Cocaine, Pot and Adderall

After the altercation, De La Garza recalls her daughter said, “Maybe everyone would be better off if I wasn’t here anymore.”

Concerned, Lovato’s family rallied around her.

“The ultimate breaking point would have been when Demi was on tour, and she lashed out at one of her dancers, physically,” De La Garza previously told PEOPLE. “That was the defining moment where we all said, as a family: She needs help. She needs serious help. And it doesn’t matter what happens to her career — we need to focus on getting her the help she needs.”

Her most recent relapse led to an apparent overdose when police and first responders were called to her Hollywood Hills home on Tuesday morning.

The singer’s publicist released a statement Tuesday evening confirming Lovato “is awake and with her family who want to express thanks to everyone for the love, prayers and support.”

RELATED VIDEO: Demi Lovato’s Mom on Her Family’s Mental Health, Addiction Journey: What Do You Say When Your Child Is Paying the Bills?

Another source told PEOPLE on Friday Lovato’s family “is pushing for rehab,” adding “they have looked into several options.”

Though reports have indicated the overdose was heroin-related, a source close to Lovato previously told PEOPLE that it was not.

The “Stone Cold” singer has battled addiction, mental illness and an eating disorder for years. In 2010, she entered treatment, where she received professional assistance for bipolar disorder, bulimia, self-harm and addiction. She relapsed after she left the treatment center, then entered a sober living facility for a year.

In March, Lovato revealed she celebrated six years of sobriety, but three months later, in June, she released a new song, “Sober” on which she revealed that she had relapsed.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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