LOS ANGELES — Demi Moore smoked something before she was rushed to the hospital on Monday night and was convulsing and "semi-conscious, barely," according to a caller on a frantic 911 recording released Friday by Los Angeles fire officials.
The woman tells emergency operators that Moore, 49, had been "having issues lately."
"Is she breathing normal?" the operator asks.
"No, not so normal. More kind of shaking, convulsing, burning up," the friend says as she hurries to Moore's side, on the edge of panic.
The recording captures the 10 minutes it took paramedics to arrive as friends gather around the collapsed star and try to comfort her as she trembles and shakes.
Another woman is next to Moore as the dispatcher asks if she's responsive.
"Demi, can you hear me?" she asks. "Yes, she's squeezing hands. ... She can't speak."
When the operator asks what Moore ingested or smoked, the friend replies, but the answer was redacted.
"Some form of ... and then she smoked something. I didn't really see. She's been having some issues lately with some other stuff. So I don't know what she's been taking or not," the friend says.
The city attorney's office advised the fire department to redact details about medical conditions and substances to comply with federal medical privacy rules.
"She smoked something. It's not marijuana. It's similar to incense," the friend says to the 911 operator.
While Moore's friends don't say exactly what she smoked, an increasingly popular drug known as Spice is sometimes labeled as "herbal incense."
Spice is a synthetic cannabis drug and also called K2. It's sold in small packets over the Internet, in smoke shops and at convenience stores. The packaging sometimes reads "not for human consumption" to conceal its purpose.
In 2011, there were twice as many spice-related calls to Poison Control Centers nationwide as in the previous year, according to the National Office of Drug Control Policy.
The adverse health effects associated with synthetic marijuana include anxiety, vomiting, racing heartbeat, seizures, hallucinations, and paranoid behavior.
Asked if Moore took the substance intentionally or not, the woman says Moore ingested it on purpose but the reaction was accidental.
"Whatever she took, make sure you have it out for the paramedics," the operator says.
The operator asks the friend if this has happened before.
"I don't know," she says. "There's been some stuff recently that we're all just finding out."
Moore's publicist, Carrie Gordon, said previously that the actress sought professional help to treat her exhaustion and improve her health. She would not comment further on the emergency call or provide details about the nature or location of Moore's treatment.
The past few months have been rocky for Moore.
She released a statement in November announcing she had decided to end her marriage to fellow actor Ashton Kutcher, 33, following news of alleged infidelity. The two were known to publicly share their affection for one another via Twitter.
Moore still has a Twitter account under the name mrskutcher but has not posted any messages since Jan. 7.
Meanwhile, Millennium Films announced Friday that Sarah Jessica Parker will replace Moore in the role of feminist Gloria Steinem in its production of "Lovelace," a biopic about the late porn star Linda Lovelace. A statement gave no reason for the change. The production, starring Amanda Seyfried, has been shooting in Los Angeles since Dec. 20.
During the call, the woman caller says the group of friends had turned Moore's head to the side and was holding her down. The dispatcher tells her not to hold her down but to wipe her mouth and nose and watch her closely until paramedics arrive.
"Make sure that we keep an airway open," the dispatcher says. "Even if she passes out completely, that's OK. Stay right with her."
The phone is passed around by four people, including a woman who gives directions to the gate and another who recounts details about what Moore smoked or ingested. Finally, the phone is given to a man named James, so one of the women can hold Moore's head.
There was some confusion at the beginning of the call. The emergency response was delayed by nearly two minutes as Los Angeles and Beverly Hills dispatchers sorted out which city had jurisdiction over the street where Moore lives.
As the call is transferred to Beverly Hills, the frantic woman at Moore's house raises her voice and said, "Why is an ambulance not on its way right now?"
"Ma'am, instead of arguing with me why an ambulance is not on the way, can you spell (the street name) for me?" the Beverly Hills dispatcher says.
Although the estate is located in the 90210 ZIP code above Benedict Canyon, the response was eventually handled by the Los Angeles Fire Department.
By the end of the call, Moore has improved.
"She seems to have calmed down now. She's speaking," the male caller told the operator.
Moore and Kutcher were wed in September 2005.
Kutcher became a stepfather to Moore's three daughters — Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Belle — from her 13-year marriage to actor Bruce Willis. Moore and Willis divorced in 2000 but remained friendly.
Moore and Kutcher created the DNA Foundation, also known as the Demi and Ashton Foundation, in 2010 to combat the organized sexual exploitation of girls around the globe. They later lent their support to the United Nations' efforts to fight human trafficking, a scourge the international organization estimates affects about 2.5 million people worldwide.
Moore can be seen on screen in the recent films "Margin Call" and "Another Happy Day." Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen on TV's "Two and a Half Men" and is part of the ensemble film "New Year's Eve."