This FAQ is presented for informational purposes only. We do not advocate illegal activities. We do believe in the right of the individual to have free access to information and ideas. We strongly recommend that the reader learn about applicable local and federal laws regarding possession, sale, and purchase of any psychoactives they intend to use. This FAQ may be redistributed as long as the text remains unchanged and all credits remain attached. If you create copies of this FAQ on the web, please try to keep them updated to the current version.....
There are a lot of different situations in which someone might need help while using psychoactives. Deciding what to do in any particular instance requires calmness, clear thinking and the ability to make decisions. This FAQ is intended to provide ideas of what one can do. Which particular method(s) should be used is unique to each situation. Remember, while not easily done in the most severe situations, the single most important thing an aide can do is to STAY CALM and as clear-headed as possible.
Helping someone through a crisis situation should be broken down into two stages: assessing and acting. The first step is to assess the situation and try to determine what type of action needs to be taken.
Type of Situation
- Is there immediate or potential physical danger? [Critical] Is the person conscious? Is breath rate depressed or accelerated? Heart rate? Is there any skin discoloration? If unconscious, is there an appropriate pain response?
- Is the person a danger to themselves or others? [Critical] Are they violent and acting threateningly towards others? What are the chances that they will attack someone? Hurt themselves unintentionaly? Get in a car and drive? Attempt suicide?
- Are they having a spiritual, mental, or emotional crisis? [Crisis] Do they seem overly scared, depressed, or angry? Mood swings? Acting crazily? Awake but non-responsive?
The following information can be helpful in determining what action should be taken. Try not to leave the person alone while collecting the information. In cases of spiritual / emotional crisis, it is often better to ask friends or nearby people rather than trying to get the information out of the individual experiencing the crisis.
- What substance did they take? If possible, learn what substance(s) they took and in what form (oral, smoked, injected). How much did they take? When did they take it? Are they on any other medications or supplements?
- Who are they? Do they have friends nearby? Where do they live? Do they have a history of this type or similar problems?
Find out all you can. Without a good assessment of what's happening, critical errors in handling it (pumping someone full of benzos unnecessarily, failing to call 911 in time, etc.) are more likely to occur. With as much of that information as possible in hand, decide the severity of the crisis and act accordingly:
- Critical - Potential or immediate physical danger to self or others, possibly requiring medical attention.
- Crisis - Benign to extreme psychotic behavior, negative thought loops, panic attacks.
Situations that Require Professional Help
- If you feel that lives are in danger.
- If you feel that the situation is out of control and there is nobody else willing to take responsibility for the individual.
Critical or Life Threatening Situation