Here are a few things I have learned to keep my partner safe while using. This may be controversial to some people or described as ‘enabling’ but I think knowing what to do and what not to do will save lives for sure.
Drug addiction is a crippling, awful thing and I do not advise anyone to take any drug without extensive knowledge and precaution.
However if you want to keep the people you love safe then these things may really help, especially in life saving situations.
1. NEVER LET THEM SLEEP ON THEIR BACK.
This has caused deaths in many cases because when using opiates the body goes into respiratory depression (slowed breathing) and it makes it much harder for them to breathe and much easier for them to choke if they sleep on their backs.
Wake them up if you have to. Turn them into the recovery position (on their left or right side, hands away from the face, legs crossed) and make sure there is no obstructions in their mouth. Keep checking up on them throughout the night, if you can, invest in a blood pressure monitor just for peace of mind to check their pulse isn’t too low. I know the normal range for my boyfriend, and can see on there if it’s anything abnormal.
2.MAKE SURE THEY GET PLENTY OF WATER.
Whilst using, they are not in a normal frame of mind, ie: breakfast lunch or dinner aren’t going to be a priority when they are withdrawing or high / fully sedated. The ideal amount of water to consume in a day is 2.2 litres so try and get them to have a few glasses of water every now and then. Check their temperature and if needed get a cold flannel to cool them down, this can help with withdrawal.
3. BE AS SUPPORTIVE AS YOU CAN.
This may seem obvious, but those trips to the clinic or the hours trying to score can be really draining mentally as well as physically for someone, especially when they are withdrawing. Knowing you are there for them, holding their hand and being there will make a world of difference. Your love and support will encourage the person in recovery because it will give them something to fight for if they know you are there helping them and shining a small light on a really dark situation.
4. KNOW THE WITHDRAWAL SIGNS FOR YOUR LOVED ONE.
These are a list of basic symptoms my partner experiences and are common as well.
- irritation/irrational anger
- nausea and diarrhoea
-high blood pressure
5. HELP THEM WITH BASIC NEEDS.
What I mean by this is, most people using drugs have pretty bad mental health and are struggling mentally foremost, but this is a catalyst for poor hygiene, bad physical health and emotional withdrawal.
Try and get them to go for a walk every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Fresh air and exercise is the best medicine next to good nutrition.
Help them tidy up, wash and clean themselves. It’s likely their living space is going to be dirty so where you can, put things in the bin, get rid of any used needles or bloody tissues and make sure they are tied up in a big rubbish bag and disposed of. Get them any deodorant or nice products to help them with good self care as this can be a real help in recovery as well. When I’m not feeling good a shower and a shave always makes me feel better.
Try and get them to talk about how their feeling, if it’s good or if it’s bad, and just listen. I’m not asking you to be a therapist, just be there when they need someone to share their pain and to emotionally support them. It will do wonders for their self esteem and also recovery.
6. UNDERSTAND YOU MAY HAVE TO PUT THINGS ON HOLD.
Drug addiction is a life long battle this person is going to have to deal with. Just like any disorder or addiction it is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time and effort and a want to get better. This means their needs will have to come first when they are seeking help, especially in the beginning. If you want your loved one to get better you are going to have to accept your me time will be put on hold for a little while and things you have to do will have to be moved around in order to help the person suffering. Remember it is them going through this, but also you, so when you get a chance do take some time for yourself and remind yourself what a great job you are doing by taking care of them in this time if need. You are literally saving a human beings’ life, I don’t know anything more rewarding than that.
7. RESPECT YOUR LOVED ONE.
What I mean by this is, don’t shout about it to everyone you know that this person is going through drug addiction. It’s terrible enough as it is, without people talking about it and making them feel even worse about themselves. They will be much more likely to use / hurt themselves if they are made to feel ashamed or guilty about their problems. That’s not a place I would wish anyone to be. The people they care most about will be informed, and if that’s you then consider it a privilege that they have chosen you to be someone they can confide in.
8. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CALL AN AMBULANCE.
If you see any signs in your loved one which worry you or make you feel concerned, do not hesitate to call the emergency services. That is what they are there for.
If someone is nodding out on opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine,
oxies etc) check their breathing and shake them a little just to make sure they are okay. If they go anywhere by themselves whilst high be sure to check on them for example in the bath they could nod out and drown if left alone for too long.
If you know they are on drugs and have passed out on the floor and aren’t responding, check their pulse and immediately call an ambulance. This is when it is essential to get help. Do not hit or try and shake them vigorously as this can cause brain damage. Wait for the emergency services to arrive.
If your loved one is an opiate user, CARRY NALOXONE! And learn how to administer it. Naloxone will completely reverse all side effects so if they are not responding this will bring them back to a sober state but they will be fully withdrawing. Call emergency services straight after administering the naloxone.
I can’t think of anything much more to add other than just to love these people and to treat them as you would anybody else who is suffering and in pain. Your love will help them, no matter how tough it seems, no matter how many sleepless nights and no matter how drained you may feel, I promise you it is worth it when you keep these people safe and alive.
From A, with love x
P.s my ask box is open for any questions or help with keeping your loved one safe through drug addiction.
What are your thoughts as a stage manager on using real guns as props onstage?
Oh no. No. Please don’t. It makes me so anxious to even think about.
Buy or rent a good fake. Even a starter pistol is a better option. I’ve only done one show with a handgun that had to be fired, and it was blocked in such a way that it was upstage and clear of any other actors. The process was
a) ASM pulled gun case from cabinet probably 5 mins before it was needed and opened it up.
b) ASM pulled gun out of case and held it in her flat outstretched hand. No setting it down anywhere, especially in the dark.
c) Actor came offstage and walked directly to ASM. NOBODY was in that path.
d) Actor went onstage near the front of the ensemble, shot the gun at the appropriate time, then came back offstage and handed the gun back to the ASM, who put it back in the case and into the cabinet.
This was in addition to a fight call each performance. It happened quickly and efficiently, and it STILL stressed me out.
So many of these young girls and boys are trying desperately hard to understand and use difficult concepts in their daily life. We have to encourage exploration! If they use a term incorrectly, politely correct them and explain what they may have been trying to use! We need to foster growth! I’ve seen too many witches and pagans alike jumping down the throats of young kids who are accidentally being “offensive”. Please remember what it was like when you first started. Remember trying to find your footing.
I’m on a roll today haha. Been typing these out as I think of them
all week, so here is a list of things in order of what I perceive to be
least to most talked about:
1. Be able to leave at any time.
You never know when you’re going to have to make a run for it or if you
feel unsafe and need to bounce. This includes:
Know your exits. Not
all places have the exit the same as the entrance. Figure out where
the exit is either before you walk in or as soon as you do.
Keep all your things as close together as possible.
Pretty easy if you’re in a public place, but if you are at a hotel or
his house or something, try to either keep everything packed or all your
things in one place. This makes you look neat and organized too, or at
least you can claim that if he calls you on it.
When you’re done brushing your teeth, pack away your toothbrush again. This goes for everything. When you use it, put it back.
Keep your dirty clothes folded next to your suitcase, if not in it.
Keep your purse on your person
or with your things. I usually put it on the nightstand so it’s easy
to remember, and my clothes/rest of my things usually end up next to the
bed anyway. Take your bag to the bathroom, especially if there are
things inside that reveal your identity if you don’t want him to see.
If you take off your clothes, leave them right-side-out. If
you don’t do it as you take your clothes off, just fix them as soon as
they’re off. Leave all your clothes in one place. If you’re naked and
need to run, this speeds up the process and you don’t look a complete
mess when you get outside.
For your shirt, grab the
bottom hem and pull it over your head. Once the neck clears your head,
take the hem of one sleeve and pull your arm out of it. Then use that
arm to hold both sleeves as you remove your other arm. This leaves you
holding both sleeves by the ends as the shirt hangs down and your shirt
stays ready to be put on quickly.
For your pants, step on the
hem with one foot to slide the other leg out. Might be a little tough
with skinny jeans or leggings, but try to pull from the bottoms and
slide out instead of peeling them off your body.
Have the number for a local taxi service saved in your phone. Or Uber, or a friend nearby, or whatever you feel like. Don’t rely on him to get you home.
Pack a pair of flats if you can because running in heels is way too hard.
If you do need to leave,
put on your underwear, then pants. Don’t need to wear the bra. Put on
your shirt, grab your things and leave. Run to the staircase–don’t
risk the elevator in case a bunch of people with luggage hold it up long
enough for him to find you there. Go barefoot down the stairs, then
put on your shoes after you’ve reached the bottom. At this point you
should be holding your purse and bra, maybe socks, jacket, heels if you
packed flats, and jewelry. As you walk to the door, put your jewelry
and bra in your purse if you can. Put socks in the heels, or hold them
if you’re wearing the heels. Get into the taxi. Put your bra on around
your stomach, then pull it up under your shirt so you’re wearing it
like a strapless bra (you can fix this later if you want). Put on your
socks if you have them. Double check that you grabbed everything. Get
2. Have a safe place to go to if needed.
This is anywhere very public and preferably somewhere you cannot be
followed. Know how to get there from wherever you are.
If you have a membership at a gym, they usually check membership cards at the door.
If you are military/dependent, go on base.
to your place of work and hide in the break room. If your coworkers
ask, say it was a Tinder date gone wrong and this creepy old guy is
Worst case scenario, go to the bathroom in a
public place. Enlist the help of other women in there/call the hostess
of the restaurant or a nearby store and explain the situation.
3. Put your phone on airplane mode.
Turn WiFi and location off. I’ve seen it mentioned before where people
pop up as Facebook suggestions. If you spend a lot of time in the same
area as someone, Facebook knows. Even with location off, it can tell
your location via WiFi access point and which cell your phone is
connected to. Turning off location and WiFi will help, but you need to
disconnect your phone from service to block that avenue too. I would
say turn your phone off entirely, but my phone takes 6 million years to
power on, so that could be dangerous in an emergency. Turning off
airplane mode can allow you to reconnect quickly to service. (This is
also useful because then your phone won’t be buzzing and stuff. No
4. Tell a friend where you’re going and what time
you expect to be back. Keep them updated with changes. Even if they
don’t respond, having it in writing somewhere can keep you safe if
anything happens. Message me where you’re going if you don’t have
anyone else idgaf.
5. Ask for everything upfront. Whatever
you agreed on (cash, gifts, dinner, whatever), make sure you get it
first. I feel like everyone on Tumblr already knows this, but maybe one
person will read this who hadn’t read it elsewhere and it’ll help.