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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Keeping drug using customers safe

The drug policy should set out the expectations of all staff in being vigilant in identifying customers who are suffering from the effects of drug use. The roles of those providing any medical/welfare service, bar staff and door supervisors in particular should all be clearly stated. It should be clearly identified who has the responsibility for helping drug users in distress.

The policy should make it clear that the business will do its best to safeguard customers from the point at which they join the queue to ensuring that they are safe to travel home. The policy should explicitly state that door supervisors must not eject drug users in distress without ensuring they have the means to get home safely and a companion to help them do so. See Reducing the harm from drug use for detailed advice.


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