What Does This Mean?
If someone is going to take a substance that wasn't obtained from a pharmacy, it is important to not be alone when the substance is ingested. Although we never encourage CPP's to obtain their medication from someone other than a doctor, we are aware it is happening. We are working on adding information about Naloxone (Narcan), which can be used to reverse an opioid overdose. We greatly encourage if anyone knows of someone who is getting medication from somewhere other than a pharmacy, please pass along this information and we also ask you to pass along our information about illicit fentanyl testing strips.
What if I Don't Have Someone Who Can Be With Me?
- There is a Never Use Alone hotline 1-800-484-3731
- This website says "If you are going to use by yourself, call us! You will be asked for your first name, location, and the number you are calling from. An operator will stay on the line with you while you use. If you stop responding after using, the operator will notify emergency services of an \"unresponsive person\" at your location."
Amanda Mazur, a Harm Reduction advocate and expert created these cards. Please reach out to her via email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to have one of these cards. You can also follow her on TikTok.
What are Good Samaritan Laws?
According to The Network of Public Health Law: Although the majority of drug overdose/poisonings are due to (illicit) opioids, many witness are too scared to call for help due to the following reasons:
- "People who witness an overdose are often afraid to call for help because emergency medical services responders (EMS) are often accompanied by law enforcement officers, and many aspects of the use of controlled substances in the United States remain illegal. Many individuals therefore fear that alerting EMS to an overdose might result in themselves, the person overdosing, or both being arrested or prosecuted for possession of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, violation of probation, or other crimes."
- "They may also fear non-criminal consequences such as loss of housing or the involvement of child welfare authorities."
"To encourage bystanders to summon emergency medical assistance in an overdose, most states have enacted overdose Good Samaritan legislation that provides limited immunity to individuals who do so. As of December 31, 2020, 47 states and the District of Columbia have enacted these laws, which are associated with an approximate 15% reduction in overdose deaths. Recent research suggests that overdose Good Samaritan laws that provide protection from arrest are much more effective than those that provide protection only from charge or prosecution."
What States Have Good Samaritan Laws?
- The Network for Public Health Law created a document (pdf version) that listed all of the Good Samaritan laws as of June 2021 broken down by state.
- Next Distro also lists Harm Reduction laws broken down by state.