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  • Writer's pictureBunny S. Galladora

What Should You Do During a Drug Overdose?

If you suspect someone has overdosed, getting medical attention can save their life! Call 911, give accurate details about what happened, and make sure you provide first responders or emergency medical personnel with much information as possible.

1. What drug(s) did they take?

2. How long ago were they taken?

3. How much was taken?

4. Who else should be contacted immediately?

Be up front with the medical professionals who ask questions. The medical staff must know as much as they can to treat him or her properly.

Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Laws

Unintentional drug overdose is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Overdose bystanders may not call for medical assistance for fear of being arrested for drug-related crimes. In response, some states have enacted "Good Samaritan" laws that create immunities or other legal protections for people who call for help in the event of an overdose. Some states have passed comprehensive Good Samaritan overdose prevention laws that provide broad protection. Other states have passed laws that consider seeking medical assistance for a person experiencing an overdose as an affirmative defense, or as a mitigating factor during sentencing.

To find out if your state has a Good Samaritan Law, you can check on your state government's legislative website or check the Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System at

(Note: this site requires a subscription to download data).

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