Advocacy Needed to Support Life Saving Bill

Support Overdose Prevention

Call Your Senator Today! Take Action!


The Assembly has passed the Good Samaritan bill (A2063/S4454), which seeks to encourage people to contact 911 in the event of a suspected overdose. The bill prioritizes saving lives over arrests and encourages people to call for emergency services in the event of a suspected overdose.

It is critical that the Senate now be encouraged to pass the bill. Please take action by calling your Senators (click on "Take Action" or "Call Now" for a script to utilize) and encourage them to pass this life-saving bill.

A Practical Solution Can Save Lives: New York's Good Samaritan 911 Bill
Most drug overdoses occur in the home and in the presence of others. Studies have found that for those witnessing a drug overdose, the majority hesitate to call emergency services due to fear of police arrest or prosecution for drug possession. New York can pass smarter public health policies that encourage people to call 911 in the event of an accidental overdose-even when they possess alcohol or other drugs. A comprehensive and effective 911 Good Samaritan Law would encourage people to call 911 by creating an exemption from arrest, charge or prosecution for possession of small amounts of drugs or alcohol when needing or calling for medical assistance in the event of an overdose. Such a policy encourages people to call emergency services when they believe they're witnessing a drug or alcohol overdose.

The legislation does not protect people from arrest for other offenses, such as selling or trafficking drugs. This policy would protect only those in possession of alcohol or small amounts of drugs. The policy prioritizes saving lives over arrests for possession.

A Growing National Movement to Prevent Overdose Fatalities

911 Good Samaritan policies - promoting life saving medical interventions by creating exemptions from arrest - are in effect on over 90 college campus throughout the county. In 2008, United States Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution supporting 911 overdose prevention policies that could save thousands of lives by encouraging medical intervention for drug overdoses before they become fatal.

In 2007, New Mexico was the first state in the nation to pass 911 Good Samaritan legislation. In 2010, Washington State enacted the second such law, passing 911 Good Samaritan by large margins in both the Senate and House. Connecticut recently passed their bill with almost unanimous support. Click "Call Now" or "Take Action" to contact your legislators and ask them to support this lifesaving bill.