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‘It could have saved my son’s life,’ Advocates push for expanding NC’s Good Samaritan Law

By Taylor Thompson

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    HAYWOOD COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — Numerous senators and harm reduction advocates held a press conference Wednesday, calling for the passage of Senate Bill 458, which would strengthen the state’s Good Samaritan Law amid a worsening overdose crisis.

State Sen. Bobby Hanig, who was among the lawmakers gathered in Raleigh, said the current law doesn’t provide enough protection for individuals to feel safe calling 911.

The Good Samaritan laws state that individuals who experience a drug overdose or persons who witness an overdose and seek help for the victim cannot be prosecuted for possession of small amounts of drugs, paraphernalia or underage drinking.

Fire department report sheds more light on Biltmore Estate employee killed by falling tree “North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law was passed in 2013. It was done with good intention, but we’ve learned since that there’s some limiting effects to it,” Hanig said.

He said too many people are dying from overdoses and it’s time to reevaluate the law.

Key changes proposed in SB458 include:

Immunity for everyone at the scene of an overdose from arrest and prosecution (currently only the person experiencing the overdose and the caller are given immunity) Immunity from possession of fentanyl Immunity from death by distribution charges Immunity for students calling campus security in a substance-related emergency

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