9. Final Focus: Pay Attention

Now that we're closing in on the end of the book, we might as well let you in on a secret about drug crisis Management: It's this: There's no "right" way to handle a drug emergency.

Depending on the people and drugs involved, and on the situation and circumstances, there are often all kinds of right ways to respond, depending on what you see and when you see it.

This is particularly true in the case of psychological emergencies.

Response in physical OD's is a little more tightly circumscribed, which is why we emphasized physical skill learning and response hierarchies at the beginning of this book. Fumbling over details in a physical crisis can cause delays that can be disastrous.

Still, even in physical crises there are often a range of options that present themselves and a variety of actions that an effective crisis helper can perform to produce a desired outcome.

And getting to this point has really been the purpose of this entire book: To point out effective crisis management techniques and strategies so you can be free to focus your attention on what works best with the person you're working with.

Because attention is the ultimate medicine in an emergency -- the attention you give in noticing and responding to physical and psychological symptoms and situational cues, and the attention you give to bringing yourself out of the shell of circumstances and problems in your own life to give what you can to someone else in theirs.

So if you need a magic word or mantra to repeat in a crisis, try this one: Attention.

Because creating the information base you need to free yours in an emergency is what this entire book has been about.

Because it's only when you know that you know what you need to know in a crisis that you can give all your attention to the person in front of you.

And in a crisis, they're the only ones in the world that matter. 

This is one in a series of publications on drugs, behavior, and health published by Do It Now Foundation.
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