I was driving to work in the wee hours this morning and I thought I saw a body on the edge of the road.
A truck was in front of me, and as it went past this lump, his jacket sort of fluttered and that's what caught my eye.
I looked in my revision mirror but it was too dark to make out if it was a body or not, so I thought I'd better go back.
I couldn't see his face, he had a hoodie on and it was dark but he looked dead.
He was sort of laying half in the gutter and half on the road, and judging by the way he was lying I thought he was dead, or out cold and possibly on something.
So I called 111, and the woman I spoke with talked me through what I needed to do.
And I told her I was as safe as I could be standing on a dark, deserted road in West Auckland at 3:15am, next to a large man who was possibly twice my size and either dead, or on something.
Actually, I always thought I would be quite good in a situation like this but because it was pitch black and I was on my own, and because I've seen some of the video clips of how violent people have become on synthetic cannabis, I have to say I was a bit nervous. This guy was in his twenties, he was a big guy, a big strong frame, and I thought if he comes around and starts swinging, I'm toast.
I was wearing my running gear, though, so I thought if push comes to shove and he wakes and becomes aggressive, I can out-run him.
So I was on the phone to 111 and the woman I was speaking to got me to crouch down beside him, check if he was breathing and see if I could get a pulse.
He was freezing cold to touch and at that point I thought he was dead, but then I got a pulse and I could see he was breathing but I still couldn't wake him.
I kept talking to him, asking him if he could hear me, asking him his name, asking him if he could sit up....but nothing. And then the ambulance arrived.
There was a woman who was probably in her 60s, she was tiny. And a small, young man. Both of them were probably half my size, to be honest. Tiny.
And the woman jumped out of the ambulance and started talking to the comatose man in a very loud voice. She was yelling at him, trying to stir him "what is your name, wake up buddy,” she was saying. Still, he didn't move.
And then she yelled at him "mate, get up. Come on, quick. The cops are coming."
And that's when he moved. He was off his head. I still don't know what he was on. Booze or synthetics or a combination of both. He could barely sit up. He couldn't speak. He just sat partially in the gutter, he couldn't control his arms, they were going everywhere, and he couldn't hold his head up either. He could only really only mumble.
The ambulance staff told me they'd take it from there, and the woman I was speaking to on 111 buttoned off. And so I got back in my car and carried on to work.
But that's where I left them. The man slumped in the gutter but alive, and the ambulance staff trying to determine what he was on.
Just another day for our emergency workers, I imagine, who are at the coal face of substance abuse in this country.