Several studies of overdose experience conclude that most overdoses:
1. Happen in a home and in the presence of others;
2. Most deaths do not occur instantly, they occur 1-3 hours after the overdose; and
3. Immediately calling for medical help greatly reduces the chances of death.
Therefore, many deaths or serious injuries could be prevented, if those witnessing an overdose call for help immediately.
Why don’t people call?
Fear of prosecution and arrest, for themselves or the victim, if the authorities get involved. On September 11, 2011, New York’s Good Samaritan Law went into effect. This law looks to encourage those witnessing an overdose to call for help by providing limited immunity from prosecution for possession of narcotics, marijuana, and in the case of minors, alcohol.
The law protects against arrest for possession of misdemeanor amounts of narcotic drugs, including, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs such as Oxycontin and Hydrocodone. The Good Samaritan Law includes both, immunity from arrest and, in some instances, can provide you with a strong legal defense if you are arrested and prosecuted.