Drugs and alcohol: What to do if…
Knowing what to do in an emergency, because someone is off their face or unconscious due to alcohol or drugs, could save their life. You may never need to use it, but you should learn how to take emergency action just in case.
If someone is tense and panicky or getting paranoid…
- take them somewhere away from bright lights and loud noise
- talk gently and calmly to them, reassure them that the feelings will go away
- help them calm their breathing down if they are over- breathing (hyper-ventilating) by breathing slowly with them
If someone faints or loses consciousness…
- put them in the recovery position (see below). Loosen tight clothes
- keep them warm, but not too warm
- check their breathing. If they are not breathing, find someone who knows First Aid
- call an ambulance. Tell the crew what has happened and what you have done to help. Don’t be put off calling an ambulance because you are worried about getting someone in trouble as a consequence. You may be risking their life
If someone is drowsy but conscious…
- put them in the recovery position (see below)
- Try to stop them becoming unconscious – keep talking to them, but don’t walk them about the room or put them to bed
- If they want a drink give them warm water (not black coffee)
- call 111 for advice; or 999 if they become unconscious
The recovery position
You should put someone into the recovery position if they are unconscious or drowsy. You can do this easily even if they are a lot bigger than you. It keeps their airways free so they do not suffocate or choke, and they cannot easily roll out of it or onto their front.
Roll the person onto one side. If they are on their left side, then bend their right leg up in front of them so they cannot roll forwards and bend their right arm so their hand is under their cheek (or vice versa). Practice on someone!