Demi Lovato’s Opioid Overdose and How Narcan Can Save a Life

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Narcan can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Here’s info on what happens, where to get it, and … why it’s not the full solution.

As was widely publicized and talked about in across the media, in late July, 2018, Demi Lovato, pop starlet and TV personality, overdosed on heroin.

However, one of her friends had Narcan on-hand. This quite possibly saved her life.

So what is Narcan? What did it do for her? Why did her friends have some lying around?

Be Prepared

In the case of Lovato, reportedly her friends had seen the cycle of heavy use returning. So they took the precaution of stocking up on Narcan (the brand name for Naloxone). This is usually a nasal spray you can use to treat an opioid overdose. Other forms of Narcan include an intravenous option or one you can inject into muscle, similar to what you would get with an  EpiPen. 

What Does It Do?

When a person takes opioids (including heroin or morphine or other prescription drugs such as  OxyContin, Vicodin), the drug binds to opioid receptors, which are situated around the body. Once in the brain, however, dopamine (a pleasure hormone) is released to a much further extent than is usually possible. As well, pain is blocked, breathing slows, and the overall feeling of calm becomes prevalent. Along with these effects, the heart slows as well. And when a person overdoses on opioids, their brain ceases to receive the correct signals. So the slowed breathing and heart actually begin to shut down. During an opioid overdose, drain damage occurs quickly because of the lack of oxogen.

opioid overdose

Enter Naloxone: Narcan

If a person is experiencing this kind of overdose, the Narcan will effectively reverse the results. It competes with the opioids and clears the receptors. This can definitely save a person undergoing an overdose. However, depending on how much of the substance is in the system, sometimes multiple doses of Narcan are necessary. The effects can even wear off before a person is out of the clear.

There are not many side-effects to Narcan; however, it’s possible for a person overdosing on heroin to experience full, instantaneous withdrawal after taking Narcan. Which is clearly undesirable. 

Where to Get It?

Though Narcan typically requires a prescription, recent laws have passed to make it easier to obtain. At a typical pharmacy most of the time you can get a “prescription” right there. If you are using opioids or love someone who is, get some Narcan. It could save their life. But Don’t Stop There.

Detoxing From Opioids in San Clemente, California

The opioid epidemic in America is widespread and devastating in its reach. Narcan is a tool to use in the fight, but is not the solution. If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, real recovery comes with a program that has proven methods and a team that is able to administer the recovery program with excellence. SoCal Detox is the first step to full recovery from opioids.

To talk to one of our addiction specialists, call us today: 888-590-0777.

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