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Protection from severe drug charges when calling 911

Did you know that more young and middle-age people (ages 25 to 64) pass away accidentally because of overdoses than in car accidents? These overdoses could come from the use of illegal drugs or even legal drugs, such as alcohol. For many, this is a startling statistic.

Some of these deaths could very well be prevented if help was summoned more quickly. As with heart attacks and other such events, overdoses require quick medical assistance; the faster help arrives, the more likely a person is to live.

However, many people do not want to contact the emergency services when this happens because they are afraid that they are going to get into legal trouble. In fact, that is the leading reason why people don't call 911. When someone overdoses on drugs, for example, friends and others who were also using may fear that they will face severe drug charges if the police are called.

In order to keep this from being a fear and to save lives, many states have put into effect a ruling known as a Good Samaritan Law. In essence, this makes it so that severe charges will not typically be leveled against those who are just seeking help for others. Even if they are clearly guilty of breaking the law, they will be given some leniency since their intention was to save a life.

Not all states have these rules in place, but North Carolina does. If you have been accused of any drug charges, make sure that you know how the Good Samaritan laws may impact your case.

Source: Drug Policy Alliance, "911 Good Samaritan Fatal Overdose Prevention Law" Jan. 05, 2015

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