(WTOL) - A new law aimed at helping reduce overdose deaths has now gone into affect. The 9-1-1 Good Samaritan Law comes as overdose deaths continue to happen across the state of Ohio at an alarming rate.
"It's a good initial first step because it provides an opportunity for a life to be saved," said Matt Rizzo, CEO of A Renewed Mind Behavioral Health.
Recently Matt was briefed on the law, which offers people who seek assistance during an overdose immunity from prosecution for minor drug possession charges.
"When I've talked to clients and loved ones who have a son or a daughter who may be using or abusing prescription medication, heroin, absolutely they have said, 'Look sometimes we're afraid to pick up the phone and call because we don't know what's going to happen,'" said Rizzo.
Now he says that concern won't be there. Matt also pointed out that there are some parameters within the law including:
- It does not apply to fourth degree felony offenses or higher that may come to light when responding to an overdose call
- Can only be taken advantage of twice, and requires whoever has the overdose to get into treatment within 30 days or risk losing immunity.
"This is another creative intervention to assist the public and help a life be saved. Provide that opportunity," said Rizzo.
He says it will be interesting to see how the law ends up working, but this is a step in the right direction.