August 31, 2021 is Overdose Awareness Day. Did you know that Arizona is one of at least forty-one states that has enacted a 911 Good Samaritan law? This law protects individuals who seek medical assistance related to an overdose and prohibits them from being charged or prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance if the evidence for the charge or prosecution of the drug-related crime resulted solely from seeking medical assistance.
Furthermore, a person who experiences a drug-related overdose, who needs medical assistance, and for whom medical assistance is sought, may not be charged, or prosecuted, for the possession or use of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.
Opioid overdoses continue to occur at an alarming rate; however, we can greatly reduce the number of deaths by seeking immediate help.
We are sharing this information in hopes of reducing or eliminating the fear or hesitation in seeking emergency medical assistance for someone who may be overdosing. With the Good Samaritan Law, there is no reason not to call for help. This is critically important given the rise in overdoses from counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. The earlier a resident seeks help for someone experiencing an overdose, the better the outcome.
Additional information and steps for responding to an opioid overdose can be found at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.