You may need to contact emergency services on 000 to get urgent help from the police or ambulance service. You can call 000 anywhere in Australia to seek urgent help from police, ambulance or fire services.
Click on the video below by Connect4Health to learn more about when to contact the emergency services.
An overdose happens when someone has taken too much medication, alcohol or other drugs.
Signs of an overdose will depend on the type of drug the person has taken. Someone who has overdosed may have some of the following symptoms:
Nausea or vomiting
Drowsiness or ‘nodding off’
Trouble breathing or deep snoring
Sweating or overheating
Loss of consciousness (‘passing out’)
Feeling agitated or paranoid
Increase or decrease in heart rate
It is possible to die from an overdose of medication, alcohol or other drugs. In Australia, more people die each year of a drug overdose than in a road traffic accident – and most of those overdoses are accidental.
What do I do if someone has overdosed?
If you think someone has overdosed:
Call an ambulance on 000 immediately.
If it’s safe to do so, stay with the person and try to keep them calm.
If you think they are unconscious or have ‘passed out’, try to wake them (you can call their name or tap on their shoulder).
If you can’t wake them, lie them on their side (in the ‘recovery position’).
If you can, tell the ambulance worker what medication or other drugs they have taken, and how much they took.
If you are with someone else, ask them to stay with you until the ambulance arrives.
Follow the advice of the ambulance worker over the phone – they will tell you how to look after the person.
Image sourced from http://hamrah.co/en/pages/drug-overdose/
If you, a friend or a family member needs urgent mental health support, contact your local mental health triage service. The triage service can tell you how to support your family member, and if needed, send out a mental health worker to check on your family member.
To find your local mental health triage service in other parts of Victoria, please click here for a list of adult mental health services or click here for youth mental health services.
You can also take your family member to the local hospital emergency department and ask for an urgent mental health assessment, or phone the police or ambulance on 000.
If you think a family member is having thoughts about suicide, it is important to reach out to them and talk about it. If you are worried they are going to hurt themselves, contact 000 or the mental health triage service immediately. If it is safe to do so, try to stay with the person and support them.
There are also 24 hour telephone support and counselling services that you or your family member can call from anywhere in Australia. These include:
If the person you are worried about is having thoughts of suicide, but is not in immediate danger, it can be helpful to have a ‘safety plan’. A safety plan is a list of ways the person can manage distress and keep themselves safe. A safety plan should include a list of people and services they can call for help.
One way to create a safety plan is through a free app called BeyondNow. You can download this from the Beyond Blue website here or through the iTunes or Google Play app store on your phone or tablet.
If you or your family member are experiencing family violence, there are several 24 hour support services you can contact for help. If you or a family member are in immediate danger, call 000 immediately.
1800RESPECT have a national telephone support line for anyone experiencing family violence across Australia. Call them on 1800 737 732 (24hrs) or visit their website here.
Men’s Referral Service provide counselling and support for men affected by family violence, including men who are victims of family violence and men who are using violence against others. You can call them on 1300 766 491 or visit their website here.
If your family member is homeless or at risk of homelessness, they can get help finding stable accommodation through a housing support worker. This includes anyone who is ‘sleeping rough’ (sleeping on the streets), ‘couch surfing’ (staying with friends), doesn’t feel safe in their own home or doesn’t have a stable place to live.
If your family member needs urgent help with housing after hours, they can contact their nearest crisis centre by clicking here, or by calling 1800 825 955 (24hrs). A housing and support worker will take your call, and will refer you to help in your local area.
In the Inner East region of Melbourne, the local homelessness services are:
Ask Izzy is a free and anonymous website that connects people who are homeless with essential services such as housing, food, clothing, health care, legal advice, counselling or addiction treatment. Ask Izzy can be used by anyone across Australia.
There are support options for anyone who is currently homeless or ‘sleeping rough’, as well as for people who don’t have permanent housing or who are at risk of homelessness.