Emergency Info

Guidelines on when to call the Emergency Services 999 for unwell recreational drug users

Call 999 if ANY one of the following is present:

Unconsciousness – if the patient does not respond to vocal commands, requires painful stimulus (e.g. pressure across the fingernails) to respond or does not respond at all.

Significant agitation (e.g. pacing around the room) or aggression not settling within 15 minutes.

Seizures (e.g. a convulsion similar to an epileptic fit)

Breathing difficulties such as fast breathing rate which does not settle within 15 minutes.

Heart rate over 140 beats per minute not settling within 5 minutes.

Temperature over 38.5 not settling after about 5 minutes of rest, or if very flushed and feels very hot if no thermometer is available.

Blood pressure – Systolic (“upper pressure”) over 180mmHg, or Diastolic (“lower pressure”) over 110mmHg on two repeated blood pressure measurements.

Other concerns – if there are any other concerns (e.g. severe headache, chest pain).


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Health risks

Safer Nightlife does not provide detailed information on the health risks of different substances since the most important information for those involved in running pubs, clubs and festivals is to take the prompt action detailed here

However, there is still some value in understanding the main risks associated with the substances most commonly used by people going for a night out. You can view a list of the substances in the order of their popularity amongst pub and club goers here.

It should be remembered that many people take a combination of substances and alcohol and that the effects of these combinations can be unpredictable. Illegal drugs can also interact badly with prescribed medicines or those bought at a high street pharmacy. The same substance can have a different effect on different people, depending on their gender, weight, individual tolerance and emotional state.


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