A young mother collapsed on the bathroom floor as she injected herself with heroin, a court heard.
A friend with her called 999 and was given cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instructions, but she also contacted her own partner, telling him to bring an antidote.
They administered that injection to the woman before the paramedics arrived, allowing her life to be saved ,
“It was the quick thinking of her friend in this situation which perhaps saved her,” solicitor Archie Hill told Lanark Sheriff Court last Wednesday.
The dramatic events unfolded at the court when the 32-year-old woman admitted possessing heroin in her home in a Clydesdale village in August last year and recklessly leaving an uncapped hypodermic syringe containing blood and heroin, to the endangerment of six children, aged from six to 12, in the house that night.
The court heard that the woman had not used heroin for months, but that day she had been drinking and had gone to a cemetery to visit graves of relatives and was feeling morose.
At 2am, when the children were in bed, she had asked her friend to accompany her upstairs to the bathroom, telling her she intended to use heroin.
“She felt nervous as she had been clean for a considerable period of time,” said depute fiscal Ziad Hassan.
“Her friend agreed and watched as she injected herself.
“After having taken only a small amount, the accused collapsed on the bathroom floor.”
Her friend began shouting to her but got no response, and she phoned her partner and asked him to bring a Prenoxad injection, a licensed emergency treatment, given only on prescription, for use at home for an opiate overdose.
The friend also called 999, and was given CPR instructions, but her partner brought the Prenoxad and they were able to administer it.
The court heard that children were running around hysterically and distressed, and one of the accused’s children was screaming ‘please save my mother’.
Mr Hassan added that the ambulance arrived along with the woman’s mother, and she regained consciousness then to tell her mother: “I relapsed, mum. I’m sorry.”
She was taken to hospital and detained in an emergency care ward.
Sheriff Ross Macfarlane was curious about the availability of the Prenoxad, almost on demand, to someone who was not a doctor, but Mr Hassan said that the friend was also a drug user and so was aware of it.
Praising the friend’s quick-thinking, Mr Hill said that the accused had been clean but that night had used the heroin when she had developed an intolerance to it and was in a drunken state.
“That caused her to collapse,” he said. “Her friend was there as a back-up.
“It happened, and the friend quickly reacted, causing her partner to come with the Prenoxad and inject her and bring her round to the extent that she could be saved.”
The children running around were the youngsters of the woman and her friend, and Mr Hill added that there was social work contact with the family, and the accused’s children were now with her mother.
Sheriff Macfarlane called for background reports before sentencing the woman.