Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Immunity Law Passed
Our family and friends who are experiencing drug overdoses should never be afraid to call for medical help, which is why I introduced LB 487, which provides for limited immunity from drug possession charges for the person experiencing overdoses and those assisting the person in need of medical help. On Thursday, LB 487 was signed into law!
I introduced this legislation because in 2015 over 52,000 Americans died of a drug overdose. This spike in drug overdose deaths have been largely attributed to opioid related overdoses, but make no mistake, people have been dying of drug overdoses for years before the opioid crisis. This law applies to any overdose.
This law models a law that I introduced and was signed into law in 2015 which provides immunity from minor in possession alcohol charges when someone underage is in need of medical assistance. I also introduced and passed a law in 2015 that made the life saving drug Naloxone available over the counter to save the lives of those who are experiencing and opioid overdose.
This law will go into effect in September 2017, and here is how LB 487 works if you or someone else you are assisting is experiencing a drug overdose:
- You or a friend is experiencing a drug overdose
- You call 911 for medical attention for yourself or your friend(s)
- Stay on the scene and cooperate with police and medical authorities
- You, the person you are helping and anyone else assisting are immune from the drug possession and paraphernalia charges
Keep in mind the immunity 1) only applies to the drug possession and paraphanelia charges and 2) only if you stay on the scene and cooperate with medical staff and law enforcement.
Nebraska now joins 37 other states with this type of immunity. A special thank you to Attorney General Doug Peterson for his support and work with me on this life saving legislation.