What is Narcan and how is it used during overdoses?
WASHINGTON - The emergency medication Narcan was reportedly used to save singer Demi Lovato's life after she suffered an apparent overdose at her home.
Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a nasal spray used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
According to TMZ, paramedics used Narcan to revive her after she was unconscious. Lovato refused to tell paramedics what caused her to overdose and law enforcement sources said no drugs were seized at her California home.
Lovato was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition. Lovato’s aunt posted on social media that the singer is “awake and responsive.”
Opioid addiction is so common now that fire departments, police and sheriff's offices across the country carry Narcan.
In Montgomery County in Maryland, a new program is being launched where paramedics will leave Narcan behind with family of patients who overdosed.
First responders say opioid overdoses do not discriminate and they are happening in homeless shelters, the Hollywood Hills and everywhere in between.
“It's kind of amazing if you want to say that it's anyone from teenagers to elderly people, and it could be intentional or non-intentional,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Capt. Bill Phelps. “We don't see it in a specific area of the county or a specific neighborhood. It's pretty widespread.”
In Washington D.C., there has been a recent string of synthetic marijuana overdoses. A firefighter treating those patients said they will even use Narcan in those cases.
Narcan only works to revive someone from an opioid overdose, but there are no negative side effects from it, so first responders will often try it just to see if it will bring someone back.