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Good Samaritan Overdose Laws Save Lives

Doctors say that most accidental drug overdose deaths are preventable if emergency services are contacted immediately, and the number one reason people don’t call in the event of an overdose is fear of being arrested for drug possession.

A recent op-ed article in the New York Times, Calling 911 Shouldn’t Lead to Jail, tells heartbreaking stories of what happens when people are afraid to call 911 for necessary emergency medical services.
Thanks to a bill I sponsored, New York has a strong law providing protection from arrest in these situations. (New Jersey recently enacted similar legislation.)  New York’s law was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2011. It’s important for New Yorkers to know that their health comes first, and that they can report an overdose without fear of prosecution.