DIVISION OF STUDENT SERVICES
Health and Counseling Services
What to Do in an Alcohol or Drug Emergency
If you think a person has had too much alcohol or other drugs, call for help. Alcohol poisoning and other drug overdoses can kill. You will not get in trouble for helping a friend. Unintentional drug overdose is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, just behind automobile crashes: don't risk a friend's life.
If this emergency is occurring on the Reed campus, also call Community Safety at 503/771-1112.
While waiting for help do the following:
- Stay with the individual.
- Protect him or her from injury without jeopardizing your own safety.
- Keep him or her warm.
- If he or she can sit up or stand, try to keep him or her upright to reduce risk of choking on vomit.
- If he or she must lie down, turn him or her on the side with the face angled to the floor to reduce risk of choking.
- Gather as much information as possible:
- How much alcohol and/or other drugs has he or she used over what time period?
- Is he or she on any medications?
- Does he or she have any medical or psychiatric problems?
- Has he or she been injured?
- Observe his or her breathing.
- Be prepared to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation if respiration stops. If you do not know CPR, call out to see if someone nearby does.
- Be confident in your decision to get help. Caring enough is never wrong.