Overdose Prevention Campaign: The Good Samaritan Overdose Response Act
We began our campaign by advocating for the passage of S851/A578, the Good Samaritan Overdose Response Act, a bill designed to encourage people to call 911 and seek emergency medical assistance in cases of overdose. Although most overdoses occur in the presence of others, fear of arrest and prosecution prevents many people from calling 911. As a result, medical assistance is summoned in only half of all overdose situations.
To remove barriers to calling 911 and encourage people to seek emergency medical assistance for overdoses, states are enacting Good Samaritan laws to provide limited legal protections for overdose victims and witnesses who call 911. The chance of surviving an overdose often depends on the speed with which the victim receives appropriate medical care. Providing limited protection from arrest and prosecution for drug charges encourages those who are present at the scene of an overdose to seek immediate medical assistance.
Please take time to watch this short video, put together to raise awareness about the growing number of overdose tragedies and the importance of a Good Samaritan law.
On May 3, 2013, Governor Christie signed into law the Overdose Prevention Act, a modified version of this bill. Calling 911 is no longer a crime in New Jersey!