Harm reduction advocates promote new “good samaritan” law

Harm reduction coalitionOne small smidgen of good news from state government these days can be found in the final approval given earlier this month by Gov. McCrory to a new state law that should reduce drug and alcohol overdose deaths.

The law actually went into effect April 9, but now, to have the intended impact, must be made widely known. So spread the word. Here’s an excellent summary released this week by the good folks at the N.C. Harm Reduction Coalition:

Get to Know the New Overdose Prevention Law in NC — 4/29/2013

911 Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Law: What this means for North Carolina
Calling 911/Seeking Help: What Should You Know?

FOR OVERDOSES: As of April 9, 2013, a person who seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug overdose cannot be prosecuted for possession of small amounts of most drugs or for possession of drug paraphernalia if evidence for the charge was obtained as a result of that person seeking help. The victim is protected from these charges as well.

FOR ALCOHOL POISONING: As of April 9, 2013, an underage person who seeks medical assistance for some-one experiencing alcohol poisoning cannot be prosecuted for possession or consumption of alcohol if evidence for the charge was obtained as a result of that person seeking help. However, the person must give their real name when seeking help and then remain with the victim until help arrives.


  • Misdemeanor possession of small amounts of drugs
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Underage possession or consumption of alcohol

Administering and Prescribing Naloxone (aka Narcan): What Should You Know?

WHAT IS NALOXONE? Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an effective, non-addictive prescription medication that reverses opioid drug overdose. It can be given by intramuscular injection, as a nasal spray using a special adapter, or as an IV fluid.

PRESCRIBING: As of April 9, 2013, doctors and other medical providers can prescribe naloxone to people at risk for an overdose AND to family members, friends, or other persons who could administer naloxone in the case of a drug overdose.

IMMUNITY: Doctors and other providers who prescribe naloxone AND the people who administer naloxone in the case of an overdose will be immune from any civil or criminal charges as long as they act in good faith.

For more information, visit the Coalition website by clicking here.

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