The General Assembly has established numerous protections for the generous and compassionate acts of its citizens who volunteer their time and talents to help others. § 745 ILCS 49/10. If a person calls 911 or takes someone to an emergency room for an overdose (or for follow-up care if an overdose has already been reversed with naloxone), both the person seeking emergency help and the person who overdoses are protected from being charged/prosecuted for felony possession of: The Good Samaritan law only provides protection against being charged/prosecuted for the above possession offenses. The ease of access to and abuse of prescription drugs is often blamed. The act provides limited immunity for violations of the Controlled Substance Act when calling on behalf of someone who needs emergency aid. In Illinois, a Consortium on Drug Policy study found overdose deaths on the increase. The Emergency Medical Services Access Law (PA 097-0678, 2012, i.e., Good Samaritan Law), or Illinois’ “Good Samaritan Law” allows individuals to seek emergency medical help for an overdose without risking criminal liability for possession. There could still be misunderstandings regarding the immunity provided in the new law. The ease of access to and abuse of prescription drugs is often blamed. In an effort to encourage more people to call 911 in the event of an overdose, 40 states and the District of Columbia have passed “Good Samaritan” laws (as of July 15, 2017). In 2007, New Mexico was the first. Illinois has a “Good Samaritan” law (officially called the Emergency Medical Services Access Law of 2012) in place to encourage people to seek emergency medical help when someone is overdosing. © 2020 Illinois Department of Public Health. Prescription drugs are also common gateways to harder drugs, such as heroin. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist medication that can be used to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. These protections or good samaritan provisions have been codified in many Acts of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. Further, without limitation the provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed to encourage persons to volunteer their time and talents. To encourage people to seek out medical attention for an overdose or for follow-up care after naloxone has been administered, 40 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of a Good Samaritan or 911 drug immunity law. These laws generally provide immunity from arrest, charge or prosecution for certain controlled substance possession and paraphernalia offenses when a person who is either experiencing an opiate-related overdose … With talk of changes to the new law, those who witness overdoses may still fear reporting. If a person calls 911 or takes someone to an emergency room for an overdose (or for follow-up care if an overdose has already been reversed with naloxone), both the person seeking emergency help and the person who overdoses are protected from being charged/prosecuted for felony possession of: 1. The provision is codified in 720 ILCS 570/414, and is sometimes referred to as the Illinois Good Samaritan Overdose Law. Drug overdose has become a serious problem across the country and particularly in Illinois. Fewer … The fear of a felony drug charge means that many times friends are afraid to call and report overdoses. All Rights Reserved. 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