KNOW About "911 Good Samaritan Fatal Overdose Prevention Law"?

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, "Accidental overdose deaths are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, exceeding even motor vehicle accidents among people ages 25 to 64. Many of these deaths are preventable if emergency medical assistance is summoned, but people using drugs or alcohol illegally often fear arrest if they call 911, even in cases where they need emergency medical assistance for a friend or family member at the scene of a suspected overdose."

"The best way to encourage overdose witnesses to seek medical help is to exempt them from arrest and prosecution for minor drug and alcohol law violations, an approach often referred to as Good Samaritan 911...Good Samaritan laws do not protect people from arrest for other offenses, such as selling or trafficking drugs, or driving while drugged. These policies protect only the caller and overdose victim from arrest and/or prosecution for simple drug possession, possession of paraphernalia, and/or being under the influence."

Twenty states including Maryland and the District of Columbia have enacted such policies. To read the complete article, click here.  For a vivid illustration of the law in action, view this Public Service Announcement (PSA). 

Multiple Opioid Overdoses Close to Home

WBAL News Radio 1090 reported the following story today entitled, “Opioid Overdose Hits Anne Arundel County Hard This Week”: 

“In less than 24 hours, more than a dozen people in Anne Arundel County this week overdosed. Three of them died. The Anne Arundel County Health Department sent out an alert to citizens reminding them to watch for signs of overdose in loved ones or strangers and to call 9-1-1 if they see any of the signs.

Health officials say there were 14 opiate overdoses from Tuesday to Wednesday. Those people were using drugs like heroin, fentanyl (a synthetic form of heroin), Percocet and OxyContin. Anne Arundel County Police told the Capital Gazette that many of the overdoses happened in the northern and western sections of the county. The county also offers training in giving someone Narcan, a heroin overdose reversal drug.” 

Note: The Capital Gazette reported there were 16 overdoses.

For concerns, questions or to find Naloxone (brand name Narcan) training in Howard County, contact HC DrugFree at 443-325-0040, Admin@hcdrugfree.org, or visit www.hcdrugfree.org.

 

Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict

In this powerful video produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, witness firsthand the journeys into addiction and the continuing struggles of several opioid addicts. This video has been edited to remove potentially offensive language.

In Howard County, we need to arm ourselves and our families with the truth to better understand the realities of prescription pain medication misuse and heroin use. 

Wait for Federally Funded Rehab Increases for People Addicted to Heroin

By Join Together Staff, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

The wait for federally funded rehab is increasing as the number of people addicted to heroin grows, NBC News reports.

The wait can be as long as 18 months in Maine. People in Florida are waiting an average of one month for addiction treatment. A study published in 2012 in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse found only 11 percent of people with substance use disorders received help from treatment centers, the article notes.

Heroin abuse is rising across the United States, according to a goverment report released in July.  The report found the strongest risk factor for a heroin use disorder is a prescription opioid use disorder. People addicted to opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse or be dependent on heroin.

Click here to read more.

What You Can Do To Reduce Drug Overdoses in Maryland

We keep hearing about the heroin epidemic in our State and that makes so many of us feel helpless (and silently wonder why anyone would ever try heroin for the first time). We shouldn’t feel helpless!  Because heroin use often begins with misusing legal (and often truly needed) prescription pain medications, the good news is that a commitment by each of us to remove or secure our medications can reduce heroin use and deaths in neighborhoods across Maryland.

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Pain Medication To Heroin - The Leap May Be Shorter Than You Think

The danger of heroin addiction is greater than anyone realizes and easier than one imagines. Studies show that some people who are addicted to heroin often start out abusing prescription painkillers such as Percocet, Darvocet, OxyContin, codeine and others. Click here to read the article by Joan Webb Scornaienchi, Executive Director of HC DrugFree, as featured in the dental edition of Your HEALTH Magazine.