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Ohio's Good Samaritan Law Takes Effect Today

Sep 13, 2016

Republican State Senator Jim Hughes, meeting with reporters
Credit Ohio Public Radio

A state law taking effect today offers immunity to people trying to get help for someone overdosing on drugs, or victims who seek assistance.

Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.  

Republican Senator Jim Hughes says sometimes when people are overdosing, bystanders don’t call 911 for fear of getting the victim in trouble for drug abuse. This new law would provide immunity for minor drug possession offenses. 

“This does not affect the drug trafficker. This is those people who are addicted, those that we are trying to help.”

The new law connects those victims with treatment. And it limits immunity to two 911 calls. Hughes says emergency responders in Columbus report an average of six overdose runs each shift. And recently, in Southwest Ohio, there were 174 overdoses in just one week.