What to do in an emergency

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In an emergency call 999 and ask for an ambulance - tell the person on the phone what's happened

Drugs affect everyone differently and it's important to recognise when someone is in trouble. If things do go wrong, remember not to panic and get help immediately. Don't be the person that stands back feeling helpless. Stay with them and call an ambulance. Be sure to tell whoever's on the phone exactly what this person has taken and how they're acting as this can be the difference between saving someone's life and not. Until more help arrives, here's how you can help:

You've noticed someone feeling anxious and panicky:

Sit them down away from crowds, bright lights and noise and encourage them to take some deep breaths to relax. Chat to them and be reassuring and explain that what they're feeling will pass. If they're not getting better, get some help.

You've noticed someone feeling dizzy or drowsy:

Get help straight away. If they're dancing, get them to take a break immediately. Talk to them and keep them awake but don't do anything that will startle them. If they're getting worse, put them in the recovery position until help arrives. DO NOT GIVE THEM COFFEE - this can make the drugs they have taken work faster.

You noticed someone feeling too hot and dehydrated:

If someone gets too overheated, there's a chance they could blackout, collapse, faint or have a fit. If you notice someone feeling dizzy, sick or experiencing cramps or aching limbs, get them to take a break immediately. They need to cool down so move them someone quieter where they can sit down, outside is often the best place. Get them to take off warm clothing and sip a non-alchoholic drink. Don't let them drink too much too fast - little and often is best. If they don't improve, get help immediately.

Someone has fainted/collapsed:

Check if they are breathing. If they are, place them in the recovery position:


Clear a space around them and turn them onto their front with their head sideways and tipped up. Bend their upper arm and leg and keep the lower arm and leg straight. Keep talking to them and keep them warm. Don't give them anything to drink as this could choke them. Stay with them until help arrives.



Someone has stopped breathing:

Call an ambulance immediately and make sure they know that someon is unconscious and not breathing. If you know the correct procedure, start mouth to mouth resuscitation. Click here to see the advice from The British Red Cross on what to do.

Want some more information?

The British Red Cross - Information and advice about first aid and details of where you can do a first aid course.

St John's Ambulance - Information and advice about first aid and details of where you can do a first aid course.


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