New York last week became the largest state to adopt a “Good Samaritan” law to fight overdose. It bars prosecution when someone calls for help to save the life of an overdose victim, reports Time. Overdose is responsible for some 28,000 annual deaths nationally. Most overdoses occur in the presence of other people and take several hours to cause death. But research finds that in up to half of cases, no one calls for help.
Friends or family often make the fatal mistake of letting overdosers “sleep it off.” Fear of prosecution is often cited by survivors. The New York law had broad bipartisan support. New Mexico, Washington and Connecticut has similar laws, and others are considering it, including California, Illinois and Nebraska.