If you still use or drink, or have recently stopped and may relapse, having emergency contact information in a visible, easy to access place could save your life if you were to overdose or become unwell.
Keeping a card with you that provides those who find you and emergency service workers with all of the emergency information they may need and who to contact if something happens to you.
Overdosing Or Becoming Unwell Outdoors
If you were to use outdoors in public, or in an unfamiliar environment, carrying some form of emergency contact information can provide Paramedics, Doctors or other healthcare professionals with the necessary information they need to save your life. This should be kept in a place that is easy to find, should you be unconscious and be unable to talk to them or tell them that you have an emergency card. Have a look at the example below:
At Home Or Temporary Residence
It is also a really good idea to keep one at home or wherever you’re currently staying as well. If you live alone or in a house with housemates, having a copy in your room stuck to the wall or taped to the fridge can also be a lifesaver!
The same information that you include in your wallet/purse copy should be the same for continuity purposes and to remove any possible confusion.
What Information Should They Contain?
The cards or signs should include:
- Your full name
- Date of birth
- Ideally two different peoples contact information for someone who knows about you, your health and substance use history. Include their name and ideally two different phone numbers for them such as a mobile and landline.
- A list of any medications that you’re taking (prescribed, from someone else and any medication assisted treatment medicines such as methadone).
- Any allergies you may have to medications or any other.
- A list of any medical illnesses or traumatic injuries you may have.
- What illicit drugs, alcohol or street bought medications that you’re currently using/addicted to.
- Be careful using an app or mobile device to keep this information on as the emergency responders may be unable to access it or waste valuable time trying to locate it. This is why having a hard copy like a paper card is preferable.
- Make sure that it’s big enough and easy enough to see and that it’s in a highly visible location.
- If you drink or use alone, leave your card out next to you so that if you overdose or become unresponsive, the emergency responders can find it next to you.
- Make sure that you check it and amended it as needed regularly, ideally at least weekly.
- Tell others that you have chosen certain people as your emergency contacts and where they can find your emergency contact information card.
- If you haven’t used or drank recently, your tolerance to substances drops quickly and as such, you’re at a higher risk of overdosing. Remember to use less the first time you use or drink. You can take more but you can’t take less once you’ve used it!
- You can also stick a sign near your front door telling emergency services workers that they can find your emergency contact information in a specific location.
- You can also contact the emergency services and provide this information beforehand (Depending on your location and country).
- If you have a Naloxone kit, make sure that you have it with you and that you tell others where it is kept on all of your cards.
Do You Have Any Other Suggestions Or Ideas?
We want to hear from you if you have any ideas or suggestions that we can add to this article. Please comment below or through our social media platforms. Let us know!…
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