Help Curb Overdose Deaths By Calling 911

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Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee

Every day, two people die in Washington from drug overdoses, which are also the number one cause of accidental death in our state.

With a recent increase in deaths caused by heroin overdoses in King County, the Seattle Police Department wants to remind you that Washington has a “911 Good Samaritan Law,” designed to help curb deaths associated with prescription drug and opiate abuse.

The law provides immunity from criminal drug possession charges for you and the person overdosing If you call 911 to report an overdose.

“If you’re with someone and they’re having an overdose, you will not be arrested for providing the person with assistance,” says SPD Narcotics Unit Captain Les Liggins.

If you or someone you know is an opiate drug user, King County health officials can also provide you with a life-saving drug, Narcan, which disrupts the effects of an opiate overdose.

“When a person has had an opiate overdose and you’re trying to prevent them from dying, you administer Narcan,” Captain Liggins says. “Family members, friends of people who are users, even users themselves, please get this drug and let others know you have it. It can save lives.”

Visit Stopoverdose.org for more information on drug overdose death prevention.

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