What to do in an emergency

In an emergency if you encounter someone who is suffering from drug misuse. The first things you should do are:

  • Stay calm
  • Calm them and be reassuring
  • Try to find out what drug they have taken
  • Stay with them


  • Sit them in a quiet and calm room
  • Keep them awake
  • Keep them away from crowds, bright lights and loud noises
  • Encourage them to take slow deep breaths
  • Stay with them
  • If they don’t respond or become unconscious call an ambulance immediately and place them in the recovery position
  • If they are unconscious when you find them immediately phone for an ambulance, and place them into the recovery position
  • Stay with them until the ambulance arrives
  • If you know what drug has been taken tell the paramedics, this will ensure that the right treatment is given straight away

Useful websites

www.talktofrank.com  – on home page click on emergency help


www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/First-aid/Everyday-First-Aid/Unconscious-and-breathing  provides a DVD clip to show how to place someone in the recovery position.