Be Prepared for an Emergency

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Red emergency icons

Do you know what to do in an emergency? For instance, if a friend has a bad reaction to drugs or alcohol, someone is hurt in an accident, or there’s a fire at home?

If you answered “no” (or even “yes”), the following tips could help you save a life.

Emergency tips

  • If you call 911, know how to quickly and clearly explain what’s happening.
  • Talk to your parents about how to get in touch with them 24-7.
  • Keep a neighbor’s contact information handy.
  • Locate the nearest “safe place”: somewhere you can go to find help and that has people trained to handle an emergency (like a fire station or hospital).
  • Take a CPR class in your area.

Who you gonna call?

Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are trained in life-saving techniques. They can provide the fastest and best help in an emergency. For instance, if someone overdoses on opioids, EMTs can use naloxone to help save their life. That’s not something you need to know how to do; you just need to know how to call the people who do.

In fact, don’t hesitate to call 911 if someone is having any kind of emergency related to drug use. It’s smart to take no chances when a life may be at stake.

For more tips on how to avoid drug and alcohol pitfalls, check out our Halloween safety blog. The suggestions are useful all year long.

Learn more: where to find help after a disaster.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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