None of those requirements are necessary to help the person suffering from an overdose; all are likely to discourage people from calling for help. However, fear of arrest may prevent them from calling authorities. Many states have passed 911 Good Samaritan laws that protects the 911 caller and overdose victim from prosecution for drug possession. In at least a dozen states, the Good Samaritan is required not only to call for help but also to jump through additional hoops such as providing their full name to law enforcement, staying on the scene, and cooperating with responding officers. Vermont’s Good Samaritan law is the most expansive—it provides immunity for any drug-related offense, including drug sales. About the Good Samaritan Law. The Massachusetts Good Samaritan Law protects people who call 911 during an overdose from being charged with possession of a controlled substance. Until this change, California's good Samaritan law provided pretty good coverage for trained and untrained helpers alike. The state's legislators were forced to rewrite its good Samaritan statute to make it clear that all forms of aid count. Benefits of Good Samaritan Laws. Depending on the state, individuals who seek care for themselves or others in the event of an overdose are eligible for a variety of legal protections. There must be a reasonable belief, based upon the circumstances, that another is suffering a drug overdose. DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice. Reducing barriers to calling 911 has the potential to save victims of overdose from severe injury and death. The Good Samaritan Law. GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS VARY BY STATE . Little is known, however, about whether the law affects 911-calling behavior of overdose witnesses. The Act, sometimes referred to as the “Good Samaritan Law” protects and provides immunity from prosecution to both the reporter and the victim, so long as several conditions are met. It's clear now, except the rewritten version protects medically trained caregivers more than lay rescuers. 3 . Please talk with a medical provider about overdose and naloxone if you are interested and willing to take action during an opioid overdose. The table below describes the different types of legal protections that states offer in their Good Samaritan … The Tennessee Good Samaritan Law (naloxone distribution) was enacted in 2014, and Tennessee was the 18th state to pass and support this civil immunity law which permits the prescribing and dispensing of naloxone to any at-risk persons, their family members, or friends, and allows them to administer it to a person believed to be experiencing an opioid overdose. Dying from an overdose is 100% preventable if the victim receives timely & appropriate medical attention.
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