When in doubt, make the call. North Carolina law provides protections.
Make the Call—North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law
More than 1,000 North Carolinians die each year from an overdose. Prescription painkillers, or opioids, are the primary cause of accidental overdose deaths in our state.
Overdose deaths from painkillers are avoidable and a quick medical response can save lives. For many, the call to 911 never happens because they are afraid of getting in trouble for possession of drugs or alcohol.
In 2013, North Carolina passed the Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access law. Under this law, you may be protected from prosecution if you seek help when you:
- Are experiencing an overdose yourself;
- Witness a drug overdose; or
- Are an underage drinker who seeks medical help for another.
Low-level substance abuse crimes are generally immune from prosecution when one of the above occurs and you follow these steps:
- You have a reasonable belief that someone is experiencing an overdose;
- You report the overdose to 911 or a law enforcement or medical professional;
- You remain on the scene until help arrives;
- You cooperate with law and medical professionals; and
- Your low-level drug offense arose out of the same course of events as the overdose incident.
Bottom line: When in doubt, make the call. Your quick action may save someone’s life.