SF mom of recovering addict applauds over-the-counter Narcan sales

Narcan, the emergency treatment that reverses drug overdoses, may soon be more readily available.

Federal regulators approved the nasal spray for use without a prescription.

But critics said the move could encourage drug use. On the other hand, supporters said the decision could save lives.

Advocates include a mother whose son has overdosed several times and the chief of emergency medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. 
"I usually keep it on top of the refrigerator in this little box," Tanya Tilghman said.  "It goes into the nostril and you have the ability to save somebody's life." 

She said her son, Roman, is struggling with recovery from addiction to opioid including fetanyl.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first over-the-counter Naloxone Wednesday. 

This move would enable people to buy Narcan directly from pharmacies, convenience stores and online without a prescription.

"Makes me feel that my son would be a little bit safer if he were to overdose or anybody was to overdose," said Tilghman.  

She shared with KTVU video of her son while he's under influence of drugs. 

She said the 23-year- old suffers from bipolar disorder and he became addicted to pills and alcohol when he was 15.

He eventually moved onto methamphetamine and fetanyl. He became homeless.

"It breaks my heart because I never ever thought I would be in this position of having a child addicted to drugs," said Tilghman.  

Doctors said Narcan is easy to administer and they urge everyone to carry it. 

"I'm excited for this next step now that it's been approved," said Dr. Chris Colwell, Chief of Emergency Medicine at San Francisco General. 

He said fetanyl is an ongoing crisis here and across the country. 

"The benefits of Narcan far outweigh the risks from my perspective.  This is another way to get Narcan out into the community. 

Tilghman shared a video of Roman celebrating his birthday.

When he's sober, mom described him as a talented, smart young man who's engaging and friendly.

"I'm his biggest supporter, champion for his recovery," Tilghman said.

Roman is currently in rehab. 

A timeline for when Narcan  will be available without a prescription and how much it will cost is still to be determined by the manufacturer.

The FDA  estimated it could take months. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @Amber KTVU