One campaign that has been a centerpiece for Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapters across the country, Call 911 Good Samaritan Policies, has been adopted by two new universities. Call 911 Good Samaritan Policies highlight the issues between health and punishment when dealing with alcohol and drugs on campus. These policies promote life-saving measures by allowing students to make responsible decisions during an emergency relating to alcohol and drugs. Many students fear punishment when calling emergency services for themselves or others if alcohol or drugs are involved. This hesitation has led to many young people not receiving the life-saving help they needed in time. To eradicate this hesitation, the Good Samaritan policy provides immunity for the victim and/or caller of an alcohol or drug related emergency. This immunity results in faster response and help for the victim. SSDP has worked very hard to spread Good Samaritan policies to schools throughout the US, and is excited to welcome Tufts University and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) to this list.
Tufts and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts SSDP students decided to make student health a top priority by pushing and succeeding with the adaptation and implementation of Call 911 Good Samaritan Policies on campus. Tufts University’s specific policy allows for up to 2 instances of medical interventions and immunity to punishment due to substance abuse per student. The first incident results in a meeting with a professional in the Department of Alcohol and Health Education, the second incident results in another meeting as well as consultation with the student’s family or guardian. The caller of the emergency (if not also the victim) is granted immunity as well.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Good Samaritan Policy states that no formal disciplinary actions taken to those who report and are victim to a drug and alcohol related emergency though the incident will be documented and a follow up health intervention will be required.
It is very exciting that the hard work of SSDP at Tufts and MCLA has paid off and has resulted in the enactment of two new Call 911 Good Samaritan Policies. Hopefully the success at these two schools garners more attention to the importance of drug health and education instead of punishment, and furthers the adaptation and implementation of Good Samaritan Policies at other schools. SSDP is always willing to help students start a Good Samaritan Policy at their college or university, for more information on how to start a campaign at your school please visit our Call 911 Good Samaritan Policy resource page.
For more information regarding the policy at Tufts university, please visit: http://www.tuftsdaily.com/news/tufts-adds-good-samaritan-amnesty-clauses-to-drug-alcohol-policy-1.2833705
For more information regarding the policy at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts please visit: http://www.mcla.edu/handbook/uploads/textWidget/2474.00016/documents/2013_-_2014_Student_Handbook_Text_Version_8.15.13.pdf