How To Help A Friend In An Alcohol/Drug Emergency
Symptoms of An Alcohol/Drug Emergency
“PUBS” is an acronym to use as a guide when assessing symptoms of an alcohol overdose:
- Puking while passed out
- Unresponsive to stimulation (pinch or shaking)
- Breathing (slow, shallow or no breathing)
- Skin (blue, cold or clammy)
If you see even one sign of alcohol overdose – Call 911
Click here to learn more about "PUBS" and Emergency Care from the University of Virginia's Gordie Center.
If your friend is having an alcohol-related emergency such as an overdose it is important you know the steps below to help your friend in this life-threatening situation. Remember, do not be afraid to call 911, even if you or your friend is under the age of 21; their life depends on it!
Direct Help: You take responsibility as the primary helper.
Indirect Help: You request that someone else take responsibility as the primary helper (e.g., the Police, Emergency Medical Trained or EMT personnel, Athletic Administrators, etc.)
- Calm the person
- Gather information
- Look at options
- Provide support
- Know appropriate referrals
- Do not become enmeshed
To learn more about how to help someone in an emergency visit StepUP!
In an alcohol-related emergency, it is important that the victim receives professional care. Follow the steps below when calling 911 to ensure the best care for your friend. Remember, do not be afraid to call 911, even if you or your friend is under the age of 21; their life depends on it!
- Call 911 and identify yourself to the 911 operator
- State your problem and what you feel you need
- Give the specific location of the incident and the phone number
- Stay there until help arrives
Responsible Action Policy (RAP)
Millersville University holds the safety, security, and well-being of its students as one of its highest priorities. The University prides itself on offering all of the benefits of a public institution while preserving a caring, individualized community. Millersville University recognizes that a student’s concern for potential disciplinary action while under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances may hinder his/her actions in response to seeking assistance in certain emergency situations and/or reporting incidents.
It is imperative that medical attention be sought should concerns arise for one’s own safety or the safety of others. This policy is intended to increase the reporting of incidents requiring emergency assistance during a life-threatening or alcohol related illness and will in turn result in increased safety for students and the campus community.
1. As such, medical amnesty is in effect to ensure those students who seek assistance for another individual who may have consumed excessive alcohol will turn to the appropriate personnel to seek emergency medical assistance without fear of being cited by the police for 18 PACSA § 6308 and/or facing University charges for violation of Student Code of Conduct, V.2.A. Alcohol if:The only way law enforcement officers or University officials became aware of the person’s violation of the Student Code of Conduct is because the person placed a 911 call, or a call to campus safety, police or emergency services, in good faith, based on a reasonable belief and reported that another person was in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury.
2. The person reasonably believed he/she was the first person to make a 911 call or a call to campus safety, police or emergency services, and report that a person needed immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury.
3. The person provided his/her own name to the 911 operator or equivalent campus safety, police or emergency officer.
4. The person remained with the person needing medical assistance until emergency health care providers arrived and the need for his presence had ended.