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NYPD: Call 911 during overdose; you won’t be arrested

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 15:37:38-04

NEW YORK — A New York Police Department public service campaign aims to alert drug users — and witnesses — that they won’t be arrested if they call 911 during an overdose emergency.

The campaign will be focused on areas like Staten Island and the Bronx where drug use is highest.

Under the state’s 911 Good Samaritan Law , people who need emergency care for a drug or alcohol overdose can call 911 without fear of arrest. That also applies to someone who witnesses an overdose.

The law protects you from charges for:

  • Possessing controlled substances up to and including A2 felony offenses (anything under 8 ounces);
  • Possessing alcohol, where underage drinking is involved;
  • Possessing marijuana (any quantity);
  • Possessing drug paraphernalia; and
  • Sharing drugs.

In 2016, there were 1,374 overdose deaths in New York, more than any other year on record. Health officials say every seven hours a New Yorker dies from an overdose.

The public service campaign will include ads on social media, subways, buses and ferries.