Ohio has the second highest number of drug-related overdoses in the nation. Many people witnessing an overdose don’t call 911 due to the fear of arrest and police involvement. To address this, over thirty states have passed life-saving “911 Good Samaritan” laws that provide “medical immunity” from drug possession charges when bystanders call 911 for help during an overdose. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled to vote this Wednesday, May 4 and we need you to take action today and ask Ohio legislators to pass a strong 911 Good Samaritan law to save lives in our state.
Rather than passing a strong 911 Good Samaritan bill, the Committee is attempting to pass a 911 Good Samaritan policy along with harmful amendments that criminalize overdose victims. The following amendments to House Bill 110 are being considered:
Immunity only applies to the first two calls for help (BAD);
First responders are required to turn over the name/address of overdose victims to law enforcement; they may then try to use the overdose victim as an informant to get intel on drug dealers (BAD);
After an overdose, a social worker offers treatment (GOOD) but the victim must undergo a mandatory assessment and provide proof of this assessment within a short time period to law enforcement or a warrant will be issued for their arrest (BAD).
These bad amendments will bring us back to where we started – with people scared to call 911 and a skyrocketing overdose death rate. Please email the members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee today and ask them to vote NO on these bad amendments to House Bill 110 and to vote YES for a practical life-saving 911 Good Samaritan policy. Too many lives are being lost for Ohio to wait to take action any longer – it is time we adopt a meaningful 911 Good Samaritan policy in order to save lives. Please take action today!
Use the form below to send a message to your Senators
Please note: this action is for Ohio residents only