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New “911 Good Samaritan” Law to Prevent Overdose Deaths Goes Into Effect on Sunday
Elected Officials and Community Members Plan City Hall Rally To Call On NYPD to Effectively Implement New Law to Save Lives
WHAT: Press conference with elected officials and community members calling on the NYPD to fully implement the “911 Good Samaritan” law on the day it takes effect to reduce preventable drug and alcohol overdose deaths. WHEN: Sunday, September 18th at 12 p.m. WHERE: City Hall steps WHO: • NYS Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried • NYC City Council Member Stephen Levin • Elizabeth Owens, VOCAL-NY member who has called 911 • Community members who have witnessed or experienced an overdose • Representatives from Drug Policy Alliance and VOCAL-NY WHY: A new law called “911 Good Samaritan” aimed at preventing drug and alcohol overdose deaths takes effect on Sunday. Advocates will be calling on the NYPD for their cooperation to ensure effective implementation of the law to save lives. Overdose is a serious health issue for New York. Accidental overdose deaths are the leading cause of accidental death in New York State, exceeding even motor vehicle accidents. There was a 20% increase in overdose deaths due to prescription drug use between 2004 and 2009, according to a recent report by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Overdose deaths can be prevented if emergency services are contacted soon enough, but most people do not call 911 because they are afraid of being arrested. The new law encourages people to call 911 if they experience or witness an overdose without fear of change and prosecution for possessing small quantities of drugs or alcohol. ###