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New Proposals Hope to Decrease Overdose Fatalities

by | Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News

Home Addiction New Proposals Hope to Decrease Overdose Fatalities

Accidental overdose deaths from illegal and legal drugs are increasing across the United States of America. According to government data, overdose deaths in 2006 were higher than motor vehicle accidents in 16 states, including New York. Last year, nearly 1,400 people in New York died from an accidental drug overdose. 700 of those deaths occurred in New York City, making overdose the 4th leading cause of death.
Lawmakers are now considering two different approaches to reducing the number of overdose fatalities. The first approach will charge drug dealers with manslaughter for providing the fatal drugs. This proposal hopes to reduce drug overdoses by enforcing harsh penalties to decrease drug sales. According to history this method will not help. The draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws were some of the harshest drug laws in the country. Those laws failed to stop drug use and sales. This proposal also ignores the health issue of drugs and focuses on the illegal aspect of it. Most overdoses do not become fatal until two or three hours after the overdose starts. Friends of people going through overdoses are often afraid to call 911 for help. Some believe they will be punished and prosecuted for their involvement.
The second overdose prevention bill seems to have a smarter method. The Good Samaritan bill will encourage people to call 911 if they are witnessing an overdose. The bill prioritizes saving lives over police prosecution. The Good Samaritan bill will reduce criminal liability for drug possession if the witness calls for help. This method has shown positive results on college campuses throughout the country. Students are more likely to call 911 if they know it won’t result in legal trouble.