February 26, 2021

Be your own Rover: Avoiding overdose and getting help

Every year at Mardi Gras, Rovers are there to help our communities stay safe and avoid drug-related harms. This year, with Mardi Gras looking a little different, you might need to be your own Rover, especially when partying at a private venue. We asked some of our Rovers for their best advice when it comes to avoiding overdoses and getting help if it’s needed.


Planning ahead


  • Make a plan: If you’re hosting, have a plan in place for if something goes wrong and share it with a couple of friends who will also be attending. As the host, it’s up to you to make sure everyone has a good time so it might be the night that you reduce your AOD intake a little so that you can stay aware and alert.
  • Know the signs: Familiarise yourself with signs of overdose on Pivot Point: there’s information about G, MDMA, Crystal, and more information on G.
  • Know what to do: Print out a “how to” guide to the recovery position and CPR and stick it on the fridge.
  • Stock up on snacks: Have plenty of water, orange juice and other non-alcoholic drinks as well as snacks on hand and encourage people to stay hydrated and eat.
  • Stock up on equipment: If you or others will be injecting, make sure you pop into an NSP and pick up extra sterile equipment. Don’t rely on everyone to bring their own and make sure you let people know that you have injecting equipment available.
  • Take note of doses: Write down the times and doses of everyone who’s taken something, especially G. This will help paramedics immensely.


In case of emergency

  • Call 000: If you notice any signs of overdose, especially if anyone is unconscious and can’t be woken, don’t hesitate, call 000 and ask for an ambulance.
  • Be honest: Tell the operator what has happened, answer their questions slowly and calmly. Ambulance officers are there to help, not to judge. Knowing what someone has taken will help inform their care.
  • Recovery position: While someone is on the phone to the ambulance, get someone else to put the person in the recovery position. This will help to clear their airways and facilitate breathing if they’re able.
  • Clear the area: Make sure there’s space around the person so that ambulance officers will be able to do their job without obstruction
  • Know your rights: Police will only attend with the ambulance if they are concerned for the safety of the ambulance officers, or if someone has died. Read more about police attending the scene, and read about your rights on Fair Play.
  • Know the cost: Ambulances cost money, but the cost of losing a life is far higher.


In short, if someone is experiencing the signs of an overdose, get help immediately. Read more about calling an ambulance, and preventing drug-related harms at home. More information about safely taking drugs in private settings can be found at David Stuart’s Chemsex First Aid resource.

Plan ahead, and stay safe this Mardi Gras!

Special thanks to our Rover superstars Tym, Siobhan and Dan for their amazing advice.

The ACON Rovers are a volunteer-based community led initiative and we promote a culture of care at sexuality and gender diverse dance parties and events. If you’re interested in becoming a Rover or want to know more, visit our information for volunteers.