The reality is that both legal and illegal club drugs can kill people. If someone is unconscious:
- Call 999 for an ambulance
- Put them in the recovery position
- Tell the ambulance crew what they have been taking (if you know)
Following this advice can save lives.
If someone you are with starts to panic and breathe fast, take them to a quiet place where you can sit with them and reassure them they’ll soon be OK. Get them to breathe deeply and slowly. Do not to leave them alone and ask someone else to get medical help. If they aren’t already unconscious, try not to let them fall asleep or lose consciousness.
These can be signs someone has taken too many drugs or overdosed:
- Feeling very confused, agitated or aggressive for more than 15 minutes
- Chest pain that feels like a heart attack
- A seizure (which may be like an epileptic fit)
- Pale skin, blue lips or fingernails
- Making gurgling, snoring or choking sounds
- No reaction to loud noise or being gently shaken, unable to wake up
- Breathing is shallow or disrupted
- Pulse is slow or very faint.
If someone is unconscious (recovery position)
If someone is no longer conscious don’t hope they’ll eventually come round or sleep it off –unconsciousness carries the risk of death. Lay the person on the floor in the ‘recovery position’.
How to put someone in the recovery position:
- Roll them onto their side. The person should not be on their back - this makes it easy to choke on their vomit or tongue, which can kill.
- Check their mouth is empty. Tilt their head back slightly and lift chin back to open their airway.
- So that their head has something to rest on, take the arm they’re not lying on and place it under their cheek. Don’t put a pillow under their head.
- Take the leg that’s not being rested on and bend it up towards their chest at a right angle, to support the body and stop it rolling onto their back.
- Check the person cannot roll forward or back off their side.
- Check to see how their breathing is.
- Don’t give them anything to drink.
- If injuries allow, turn the person onto their other side after 30 minutes.
Although you might worry about calling for an ambulance by dialling 999, not doing so could cost someone their life and put you in a far more serious situation. Don’t leave someone alone unless you have to get help, as while you’re gone they could move out of the recovery position. If you must leave them, make sure it’s not easy for them to roll over onto their back. When the ambulance arrives, tell them (if you can) what the person has taken.
For more information about the recovery poition please visit NHS Choices.