Many people do not realize how big a problem drugs have become in this country. When they hear of people dying due to overdoes, they think it only concerns a minority sector that does not concern them. While that might once have been the case, opioids have changed that.
More people aged 25 to 64 now die from accidental drug overdoses than in motor vehicle accidents.
One of the saddest things about these figures is that many who fatally overdosed could have been saved if someone had called 911 sooner. There are often others around when someone is using drugs; it’s just that they are scared to ring for help for fear the police might arrest them because they, too, are using.
You can report someone without fear of arrest
The Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law, sometimes called the Good Samaritan 911 law, guarantees people certain protections if they ring for help for someone who is overdosing.
What’s more, it allows those who will attend the call, such as police officers or ambulance crew, to administer naloxone (also known as Narcan), which, if administered soon enough, may well save the person’s life by reversing the effects of the overdose.
You may have to fight to receive the benefits of protection
Let’s say you were in a room with several others when someone overdosed. You called 911, and then the police arrested you and the others on drug-related charges. The law only gives immunity from prosecution on drug-related charges to the person who places the call. The police are unlikely to spend time determining who that was, especially if various people claim it was them.
Getting legal help to show you rang will be crucial to beating any drug charges you face after trying to save someone’s life.