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A Good Samaritan Law may have saved Greg’s life

Good Samaritan Laws provide legal protections for individuals who are present or provide assistance during an overdose.

By David Humes

Greg overdosed. The people with him picked him up, placed him in his own car and drove him to the parking lot of the hospital. There, they simply left him. They didn’t hit the panic button on the key fob, didn’t ring the ER door, didn’t walk a block away and call 911. An hour later he was discovered, but it was too late.

The detective said to me, “If we had a 911 Good Samaritan law or a Narcan law, your son might very well be alive.

The Problem

Witnesses to overdose have often been using drugs with the person who’s overdosed and are hesitant to call 911 because of concern for police involvement. Individuals who witness an overdose may also be reluctant to administer naloxone (aka Narcan), the overdose antidote, because of liability concerns.

The Solution

To mitigate these concerns and encourage people to take life-saving action in the event of an overdose — that is, calling 911 and administering naloxone — the majority of states have adopted Good Samaritan laws. These laws protect individuals from civil or criminal liability when administering naloxone or alerting authorities about a suspected overdose.

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