Is Narcan Only Used For Heroin Overdose?

Is Narcan Only Used For Heroin Overdose?

In Addiction, Recovery by Tree House Recovery

On July 24th, 2018, world wide celebrity and pop icon Demi Lovato suffered an overdose. To some, the overdose came as a deep and troubling shock. To others, unfortunately, the overdose was only part of a downward spiraling tale that is relapse from addiction recovery. Lovato has been nothing less than outspoken about her trials and tribulations in sobriety. In October of 2017, she released a documentary, Simply Complicated, on YouTube which detailed her journey through addiction, treatment, and recovery. She talked about the difficulty she had in staying sober, fighting her demons, and finding a lifestyle of recovery which worked for her. Like the men in our program at Tree House Recovery, Demi found a fantastic outlet in fitness, training, and martial arts.

Just months after celebrating the six year mark of her sobriety Lovato released a song called “Sober” which plainly explained that she wasn’t sober any longer and had relapsed. Another month later and news spread like wildfire on July 24, 2018, that Demi Lovato had suffered an overdose, was taken to the hospital, and was being stabilized. Though the drug of use was not reported by Lovato or the people in her home at the time of the overdose, it was reported that the drug Narcan was used to bring her back to consciousness.

What Is Narcan?

Narcan is the brand name of a drug called Naloxone and is an opioid reversal medication which can quite literally bring someone experiencing an opioid overdose back from the brink of death. In light of the opioid epidemic, Narcan has gained most notoriety for helping heroin users reverse an overdose. However, Narcan works for all different kinds of opioid overdoses, which can come from prescription or black market pills. The stigma attached to heroin is unfortunate, shaming, and damaging. Presuming that someone who has been administered Narcan is a heroin user, or had used heroin intravenously, can also be damaging.

Narcan works as a nasal spray or an injection. Once the medication enters the bloodstream, it rapidly reaches the brain to block opioid receptors where the intoxication of an opioid is taking place. Disallowing the opioid neurotransmitters created by the opioid drug to prolong intoxication, the overdose immediately stops.

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