What is Narcan, the drug that revived Demi Lovato after her reported overdose?

Demi Lovato is “stable” after being treated for a reported drug overdose with the medicine Narcan, which reverses the effects of opioids. 

TMZ reported that paramedics discovered the 25-year-old singer unconscious at her Hollywood Hills home around noon on Tuesday and that Lovato was administered Narcan before being rushed by ambulance to a Los Angeles hospital. A source also told People that Lovato is currently “stable.”

According to People, the Los Angeles Fire Department “transported a 25-year-old female patient to a local hospital,” and fire and police squads “responded to a medical emergency.” A source close to Lovato told People that heroin was not the cause of the overdose; law enforcement, however, told TMZ that it was an apparent heroin overdose.

In an October 2017 documentary Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated, Lovato revealed she had struggled with an eating disorder and drug-and-alcohol addictions, according to CNN. In June, she released a song “Sober” that included the lyrics “I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore.” 

Narcan, the brand name for Naloxone, is a medication administered to those who have overdosed on narcotics like heroin or heroin cut with opioids such as fentanyl. In 2016, according to CNN, toxicology reports for Prince revealed he had died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl.

21 PHOTOS
Celebs react to Demi Lovato's overdose
See Gallery
Celebs react to Demi Lovato's overdose
Sending lots of light and prayers to you baby girl @ddlovato ✨
This was exactly 10 yrs ago at S, Sweet 16. @ddlovato we love you. The world is a better place because of these infectious smiles. My heart hurts.
I love @DDLovato so much. It breaks my heart that she is going through this. She is a light in this world, and I am… https://t.co/fN8v58IAwm
Praying for you @ddlovato. You are loved. 🙏
Macklemore dedicated his song “Otherside” to Demi Lovato at his concert. #PrayForDemi https://t.co/f1rIEAtmrG
Like all of you I am reeling at the news about Demi. All of us love her and need to pray for her to get well. She is a fighter. #prayfordemi
Like all of you I am thinking of @DDLovato right now. She needs our prayers and support. We all know how strong you are Demi. #prayfordemi
My friend @ddlovato is one of the kindest, most talented people I’ve ever met. Praying for her right now, addiction… https://t.co/HEintp6ZNs
i love u @ddlovato
I love you @ddlovato and I’m praying for your strength and health.
sending huge recovery love to Demi. this is a very personal moment and respected delicately. all we can do is send… https://t.co/sm72VJmUgo
I don’t even know what to say except I’m thinking of you @ddlovato . 💜
Hang in there @ddlovato - sending good energy and love.
only love and support, save the rest 🌍. ❤️ @ddlovato
@ddlovato we love you 🙏🏻💗
praying for @ddlovato and her health. When I was 14, she was an idol to me in how she spoke so openly about mental… https://t.co/Atbd3lWDgB
My beautiful girl you are strong you always have been ❤️❤️
I’m praying for you with everything in me @ddlovato. You are so loved.
Dear @ddlovato you are a force to be reckoned with and stronger than you think. We’re all here for you ❤️
You’re a strong, talented, bright soul and you will overcome this. The world is on your side! Te abrazo a la distancia y se que te sobra fuerza y valentía para sobrepasar esta situación. Mis oraciones están contigo. Te quiero amiga🙏🏽
Charlie Puth gave his regards to Demi Lovato and dedicated his song “See You Again” at his concert tonight.… https://t.co/RlGsDawGWS
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

“Back in the 1970s, heroin was pure and people knew how it affected their bodies — over the past three years, we’re seeing more cases of heroin laced with fentanyl,” Cali Estes,  founder of The Addictions Academy, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Narcan is typically given by a nasal drip and as a second option, an IV-injection. “It works instantly, almost like a smelling salt, returning the body to a pre-opiate state,” says Estes. “However, its use is controversial because EMTs aren’t required to give it a certain number of times — some try twice, others three times, and that makes a difference in whether someone lives or dies.”

The drug doesn’t always work — sometimes help arrives too late or people  have too many drugs in their system. However, even when Narcan is effective, if a person uses drugs shortly afterward, the combination can result in death.

According to National Public Radio, Narcan is readily accessible, available in over-the-counter doses at Walgreens and CVS.

As for Lovato, she is “stable and alert and breathing,” according to NBC News.

“However, being stable doesn’t mean a user will stay sober,” says Estes. “There’s likely therapy ahead."

See Demi through the years

42 PHOTOS
Demi Lovato through the years
See Gallery
Demi Lovato through the years
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 24: Demi Lovato performs onstage at March For Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for March For Our Lives)
Singer Demi Lovato performs during KIIS-FM Wango Tango concert at StubHub Center in Carson, U.S., May 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (Met Gala) to celebrate the opening of "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" in the Manhattan borough of New York, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Singer Demi Lovato poses at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Inglewood, California, April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the 2015 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 22, 2015. REUTERS/David McNew TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 18: Demi Lovato attends the Samsung launch party on August 18, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Demi Lovato visits 'The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show' at Z100 Studio on June 25, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 05: Singer Demi Lovato performs at 102.7 Kiis FM's Cool For The Summer' Pool Party at the WaterMarke Tower on July 5, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Demi Lovato performing on the Mudd Stage at Digifest on June 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for MUDD)
SANTA MONICA, CA - OCTOBER 08: Singer/actress Demi Lovato attends the Vevo CERTIFIED SuperFanFest presented by Honda Stage at Barkar Hangar on October 8, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for VEVO)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 22: Demi Lovato performs onstage during 93.3 FLZ’s Jingle Ball 2014 at Amalie Arena on December 22, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: President of Island Records David Massey (L) and Demi Lovato celebrate Nick Jonas' song 'Jealous' being the #1 At Top 40 radio hit at The Ivy on January 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Island Records)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 22: Demi Lovato performs onstage during 93.3 FLZ’s Jingle Ball 2014 at Amalie Arena on December 22, 2014 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
SANTA MONICA, CA - OCTOBER 08: Recording artist Demi Lovato performs onstage during the Vevo CERTIFIED SuperFanFest presented by Honda Stage at Barkar Hangar on October 8, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Vevo)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24: Singer Demi Lovato attends the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV)
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 20: Demi Lovato attends Y100’s Jingle Ball 2013 Presented by Jam Audio Collection at BB&T Center on December 20, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 16: Singer Demi Lovato performs onstage during 'VH1 Divas' 2012 at The Shrine Auditorium on December 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the 2012 People's Choice Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the 2012 People's Choice Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 07: Singer/actresses Demi Lovato (L) and Selena Gomez arrive at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards held at the Gibson Amphitheatre on August 7, 2011 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
TINLEY PARK, IL - AUGUST 06: Demi Lovato attends the Summer Camp Rock 2 Concert Tour kick off at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre on August 6, 2010 in Tinley Park, Illinois. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images for Juicy Juice)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Actress Demi Lovato poses in the press room during the People's Choice Awards 2010 held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for PCA)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28: Actress Demi Lovato arrives at Nickelodeon's 2009 Kids' Choice Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on March 28, 2009 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 11: Actress Demi Lovato attends the premiere of 'Camp Rock' on June 11, 2008 in New York. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards at Paramount Pictures Studios on September 7, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Demi Lovato performs on stage during her Tell Me That You Love Me tour at Arena Birmingham on June 29, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: Demi Lovato performs live on stage at The O2 Arena on June 25, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
LISBON, PORTUGAL - JUNE 24: Demi Lovato performs on the Mundo stage at day two of Rock in Rio Lisbon on June 24, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Pedro Gomes/Redferns)
Demi Lovato and Roman Kemp in the on air studio during Capital's Summertime Ball with Vodafone at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. This summer's hottest artists performed live for 80,000 Capital listeners at Wembley Stadium at the UK's biggest summer party. Performers included Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Rita Ora, Charlie Puth, Jess Glyne, Craig David, Anne-Marie, Rudimental, Sean Paul, Clean Bandit, James Arthur, Sigala, Years & Years, Jax Jones, Raye, Jonas Blue, Mabel, Stefflon Don, Yungen and G-Eazy. Picture date: Saturday June 9, 2018. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire (Photo by Lauren Hurley/PA Images via Getty Images)
Demi Lovato performs on stage during Capital's Summertime Ball with Vodafone at Wembley Stadium, London. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Demi Lovato arrives at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
WOODLAND HILLS, CA - MAY 18: Demi Lovato (R) and fan attend the Demi Lovato visits Fabletics at The Village at Westfield Topanga on May 18, 2018 in Woodland Hills, California. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Fabletics)
Demi Lovato performs during March for Our Lives to demand stricter gun control laws on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Singer Demi Lovato visits the SiriusXM Studios on March 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Singer Demi Lovato visits the SiriusXM Studios on March 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: Demi Lovato departs their hotel on March 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16: Demi Lovato performs onstage during the 'Tell Me You Love Me' World Tour at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on March 16, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Philymack)
TORRANCE, CA - JANUARY 27: Demi Lovato visits Fabletics at Del Amo Fashion Center on January 27, 2018 in Torrance, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Fabletics)
ROSEMONT, IL - DECEMBER 13: Demi Lovato attends 103.5 KISS FM's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017 on December 13, 2017 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Robin Marchant/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Youtube's global head of original content Susanne Daniels (L) and Demi Lovato attend the 'Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated' YouTube premiere at The Fonda Theatre on October 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for YouTube)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11: Singer Demi Lovato arrives at the Nickelodeon's 2017 Kids' Choice Awards at USC Galen Center on March 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story