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Different drugs can cause different problems.

Drugs like alcohol, tranquillisers, solvents, poppers and heroin can make people very drowsy or even pass out.

Others like amphetamine, cannabis, ecstasy, LSD or magic mushrooms can cause panic and make you paranoid.

Using amphetamine and ecstasy while dancing in clubs makes people hot and dehydrated - which means they lose too much fluid from their body. This can be very serious indeed.

What to do in an emergency (This is the same for drugs and alcohol)

  • Keep calm
  • If the person looks really ill dial 999 for an ambulance
  • Talk quietly to them and let them know that everything will be OK
  • If they are breathing very quickly help them slow down by breathing slowly with them
  • Don't put them to bed. People who are drowsy can fall asleep and die choking on their own sick. If necessary, walk them around. BUT…
  • Don't give them black coffee to keep them awake. This will make the drugs or alcohol work even quicker
  • Put them in the Recovery Position. Be prepared to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • Loosen any tight clothing that may stop them breathing
  • If necessary keep them warm - but not too warm - with a coat or blanket

Even if you have called an ambulance stay with them - somebody could still die if the ambulance people or doctors don't know all the facts.
Tell the ambulance staff or doctors any information you have about what drugs have been used. Is there any of the drug left? The more information they have the easier it is to treat and help the person. They are interested in helping and will not be concerned about whether legal or illegal drugs are involved.

It's a good idea to ask about first aid training through school or a youth and community group. Or you could contact:

The Red Cross 020 7235 5454

St John Ambulance
020 7235 5231

or in Scotland St Andrews 0141 332 4031



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