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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Seizing drugs

When door supervisors seize the items (whether they allow the customer entry or not), they should place the drugs in an evidence bag and deposit the bag in the amnesty box, in front of the person from whom they were taken and, if possible, a colleague.

As an additional precaution, it is recommended that door supervisors hold the evidence bag up in plain view of a CCTV camera. This safeguards the door supervisor from any accusations of taking the drugs for personal use.

The door supervisor should then immediately complete a Drug Find Record Log entry. It should be noted that a door supervisor taking drugs from a customer in this way is protected under the law1 The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 section 5 subsection 4.. These procedures also preserve continuity in the evidence chain to maximise the chances of any subsequent prosecutions being successful.


1 The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 section 5 subsection 4.


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