Can I Be Arrested for Reporting an Overdose?
When you know someone who struggles with alcohol or drug addiction, one of your biggest fears is likely the possibility that they may overdose. Not only does that fear stem from the extreme physical danger of an overdose, but there is likely also fear that you or your loved one will face legal repercussions if you seek help and report the overdose.
While these are valid fears, not reporting an overdose can leave a person without vital medical attention that can save their life. Thankfully, there are laws in place that protect you and your loved one from arrest in the event of an overdose, placing greater importance on getting victims help.
North Carolina Overdose Reporting Laws
911 Good Samaritan Laws
Under these laws in North Carolina, if help is sought for a person experiencing an overdose, that person or any people who witness the overdose cannot be charged or prosecuted for underage drinking, having drug paraphernalia, or the possession of small amounts of drugs.
Additionally, a person cannot be considered in violation of parole or probation if they seek medical help for someone experiencing an overdose. As long as the person offers their name to the 911 operator or law enforcement agent, they can qualify for immunity.
Under the Naloxone Standing Order amendment, those who meet certain criteria, such as being at risk of opioid overdose or having the ability or intent to assist someone who may overdose, can be prescribed certain medications through a standing order. Additionally, pharmacists or physicians who dispense Naloxone or Narcan are protected from criminal or civil liability.
If you believe that you may one day witness an overdose, it’s essential to understand that these laws in North Carolina protect both of you from legal repercussions — all you should focus on is getting the person emergency help to save their life.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Adults
Overdose can be avoided entirely when adults seek treatment for their substance addiction. Silver Ridge is a highly-structured and organized inpatient rehabilitation center designed specifically to make the addiction recovery process smoother for patients. Our treatments and therapies are customized to fit the unique needs of each patient, creating a truly personalized experience.
Contact us today to learn more by speaking to a member of our team.