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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Supervising toilet areas

It is good practice to have attendants in toilet areas to discourage a large build-up of people and the selling and use of drugs.

Naturally, it is particularly important to respect individuals’ privacy in this area and staff should be given clear guidelines which cover when it is appropriate for staff to try to enter a cubicle and when assistance should be sought, and from whom. These guidelines should also be communicated to customers via clear signs which also state that it is venue policy for only one person in a cubicle at any time.

Training to recognise individuals who are in distress through drug and/or alcohol use is also invaluable for toilet/cloakroom attendants.

Security staff should include toilet areas on their regular tours of inspection. Finally, all toilet areas should have a sharps bin installed so that any needles can be safely disposed of. Sharps bins can also be used by customers who have legitimate cause to use needles, for instance, in order to self-administer insulin for diabetes.


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