Naloxone should be stored at room temperature and away from light. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Whether or not one of these drugs caused the Kentucky EMT’s symptoms, there have been other reported cases of first responders being overcome while treating overdose victims. There is no longer any need to watch a friend or family member die due to a fear of criminal prosecution. Maybe Kentucky police and prosecutors don’t agree with the restriction on drug arrests, but the law is intended to encourage people to call for help rather than just letting someone die. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. Yet, regardless of what any one of us thinks, we’re still talking about someone’s daughter, son, mother, father, sister or brother. If naloxone is administered to a person who is experiencing an opioid overdose, it will produce withdrawal symptoms. We’re here when you need us most. Basically, one is immune to civil liability under KY law. If it is given to a person who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, it is harmless. All rights reserved (About Us). After Casey’s death his parents lobbied for a change. One such part is often referred to as the “Good Samaritan” law. This is commonly known as a “Good Samaritan Law,” and it provides an important tool to save lives. Although his parents tried to get him help, there was no law that could force someone into treatment because he was an adult. Here’s what caught my attention — and likely that of the podcast producers — about the Kentucky case. I'm sure they'll even get their goodies back after…. Good Samaritan Laws encourage bystanders to become “Good Samaritans” by summoning emergency responders without fear of arrest or other negative legal consequences. 200. All Rights Reserved. The shelf life of naloxone is approximately two years. Whether or not one of these drugs caused the Kentucky EMT’s symptoms, there have been other reported cases of first responders being overcome while treating overdose victims. Its cousin, carfentanil, which is used to sedate elephants, is about 1,000 times more potent than morphine. These laws basically state that if anyone calls 911 on behalf of another person they believe to be overdosing, the emergency caller (often a drug user as well) cannot be charged with using of illegal or prescription drugs or drug paraphernalia. Kentucky takes action to reverse opiate overdoses. There are no doubt those who see the world as better off with one fewer addict and have zero sympathy for overdose victims. The Good Samaritan Immunity provision should be preserved as it saves lives. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). New Jersey also specifically deals with drug overdoses through the Overdose Prevention Act. While people can have varying opinions about the three people initially involved in this incident, the charges against them seem like law enforcement’s “work-around” to permit prosecution despite the Good Samaritan law. In response, Kentucky has enacted KRS 218A.133, which protects people from prosecution when they report a drug overdose. Justice and Public Safety Cabinet125 Holmes StreetFrankfort, KY 40601Main Line: (502)564 9564 Drug overdoses continue to climb at an alarming rate and remain a major cause of preventable deaths. Upon discovering the victim, the man’s two companions hesitated to call paramedics because they were afraid they would be arrested and charged with drug-related offenses. Continue to monitor their breathing and perform rescue breathing if respirations are below 10 breaths a minute. Not long ago, I heard a “Radiolab” podcast, the May 24 edition about Good Samaritans in Bath County, Kentucky. The Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention is named for Matthew Casey Wethington, who died in 2002 from a heroin overdose at the age of 23. If it doesn’t, I’m not sure what will. Naloxone has no potential for abuse. Without this law, a person who is in the When administered during an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing. Tilt their head back, lift chin, pinch nose shut. Data suggests that Emergency Medical Services are called in the event of an overdose less than 56% of the time. This is commonly known as a “Good Samaritan Law,” and it provides an important tool to save lives. It goes even further when you get into drug use. What he did not realize was that his using would progress from abusing to dependence and then to the disease of addiction. Today’s street heroin is routinely laced with one of the two synthetic opioids. What happened in Kentucky had me wondering about the laws in our own state. It also protects individuals from prosecution when they report a drug overdose if they stay with the individual experiencing the overdose until first responders arrive. This means that people, including doctors and first responders, can provide help at an accident scene or emergency situation without fear of being sued by victims or their families. More than 52,000Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015, the majority caused by opioids. ** eyeroll **. Even though none of the three people at the house party scene was charged with drug-related offenses, all were prosecuted on numerous counts of endangering the welfare of others by exposing them to whatever made the paramedic ill. In response, Kentucky has enacted KRS 218A.133, which protects people from prosecution when they report a drug overdose. “Casey’s Law” is an involuntary treatment act for those who suffer from the disease of addiction. Theoretically, this fentanyl — which is at least 50 times more powerful than morphine — got onto the EMT and was absorbed through his skin. Subscribe to NJ.com ». Blow enough air into their lungs to make their chest rise. If the person begins to breathe on their own, put them on their side so they do not choke on their vomit. New Jersey has several Good Samaritan laws that deal with providing help in an emergency. Calling 911 during an overdose can mean the difference between life and death, but some witnesses avoid calling due of fear of arrest. Use naloxone and continue rescue breathing at one breath every 5 seconds. Call 9-1-1. • Kentucky’s Good Samaritan Law(KRS 218A.133) protects individuals from prosecution if they seek medical attention while experiencing a drug overdose in certain circumstances. In general, a person who acts in good faith to give emergency help is immune from civil liability. Contact him by phone at 856-455-3230 Ext. “Good faith,” the courts say, is basically any reason for an action other than to cause harm intentionally, or one that results from gross negligence. “There is a general reluctance within the drug-using population to seek help when witnessing an overdose. The Good Samaritan Law was meant to give a pass to people who witness an overdose. So, here’s to the Good Samaritans and the laws that protect them. The alleged victims included the paramedics, as well as police and firefighters who responded, plus a minor child who lived in the house. Albert B. Kelly is mayor of Bridgeton. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook. Indicate the person has stopped breathing or is struggling to breathe. If breathing has stopped or is very slow, begin rescue breathing. Main Fax: (502) 564-2894Send an Email. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. There is no longer any need to watch a friend or family member die due to a fear of criminal prosecution. We all know that drug overdose is a life threatening emergency, and requires a swift medical response. This scenario is possible because of fentanyl’s potency. Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Any “work-arounds” would defeat the spirit of this law. Naloxone (Narcan®) is a prescription medication that can reverse an overdose that is caused by an opioid drug. This 2013 law encourages people to call 911 if they think a person is overdosing on illegal or prescription drugs. Kentucky Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Forces, Naloxone is an inert medication, non-addictive, Naloxone can be administered repeatedly without harm, Naloxone can be administered intramuscularly, intranasally via atomizer devise or via an auto-injector. If vomiting occurs, manually clear their mouth and nose. The details involved two men and a woman partying in a house together when one of the guys apparently overdosed on opioids. Maybe this makes sense if one insists that addiction is a moral failure, although medical science has determined that it is an illness worthy of treatment rather than a character flaw to be punished and scorned. Repealing the immunity provision for the overdose victim will obstruct that necessary swift medical response.