HCN News & Notes

State Officials Launch Campaign Around 911 Good Samaritan Law

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey announced a new public-information campaign this week to encourage people to call 911 for emergency medical services at the first signs of a drug overdose. Along with Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, and members of the law-enforcement community, state officials launched the $250,000 Make the Right Call campaign to promote the Massachusetts 911 Good Samaritan Law.

This law provides protection to individuals seeking medical assistance for themselves or someone else experiencing a drug-related overdose, including opioid-related overdoses, without the risk of charges of possession of a controlled substance.

“Today we’re proud to announce, along with the attorney general, a partnership for a $250,000 campaign to encourage people to call 911 at the first sign of a drug overdose,” Baker said.

Added Healey, “what the Good Samaritan Law says is that, if you see someone overdosing, or if you’re with someone who is overdosing, call 911. Get them help. And if you do call 911 to save that person’s, life you will not be prosecuted for drug use or possession.”

Sudders noted that addiction is a disease, and “just like if we saw someone on the side of the street who had collapsed from a heart attack, we would stop, and we would call 911, and that is what this campaign is about.”

Baker added that “this 911 Good Samaritan Law, will reinforce to bystanders and first responders alike that the most important step to take when someone is having an overdose is to save their life, and that someone shouldn’t face legal consequences for taking that step.”