OVERDOSE PREVENTION LAW IN NC
SB20 911 Good Samaritan/ Naloxone Access law, effective April 9, 2013, states that individuals who experience a drug overdose or persons who witness an overdose and seek help for the victim can no longer be prosecuted for possession of small amounts of drugs, paraphernalia, or underage drinking. The purpose of the law is to remove the fear of criminal repercussions for calling 911 to report an overdose, and to instead focus efforts on getting help to the victim.
The Naloxone Access portion of SB20 removes civil liabilities from doctors who prescribe and bystanders who administer naloxone, or Narcan, an opiate antidote which reverses drug overdose from opiates, thereby saving the life of the victim. SB20 also allows community based organizations to dispense Narcan under the guidance of a medical provider. As a result, officers may encounter people who use opiates and their loved ones carrying overdose reversal kits that may include Narcan vials, 3cc syringes, rescue breathing masks and alcohol pads.
As of August 1, 2015, a person who seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug overdose cannot be considered in violation of a condition of parole, probation, or post-release, even if that person was arrested. The victim is also protected. Also, the caller must provide his/her name to 911 or law enforcement to qualify for the immunity. Pharmacists are now immune from civil or criminal liability for dispensing naloxone to people at risk of an opioid overdose.
The bill enabling this law was called SB154, Clarifying the Good Samaritan Law. Full text is available at: