Great Barrington Police Putting ‘Good Samaritan’ Law into Action
As you may have read in one of our recent articles, the Great Barrington Police Department partnered with Rural Recovery Resources, to provide substance abuse services through the utilization of recovery coaches. Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for people with addictions or in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. They work with people who have active addictions, as well as those already in recovery. You can read the full article by going here.
Adding more strength to helping people that may have addiction issues, the Great Barrington Police Department presents the Commonwealth’s “Good Samaritan” Law with the hope that drug dependent people will seek help.
Massachusetts General Law includes “Good Samaritan” laws which are designed to encourage those suffering from an overdose or who are present where someone else is experiencing an overdose to seek medical assistance. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 94C Section 34A allows for immunity from prosecution for “possession” of controlled substances for anybody acting in good faith who either seeks treatment for themselves or others who appear to be experiencing a drug related overdose, if the evidence of possession was gained as the result of seeking medical attention.
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The act of seeking medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug-related overdose may be used as a mitigating factor in a criminal prosecution under the Controlled Substance Act, 1970 P.L. 91–513, 21 U.S.C. section 801, et seq.
Nothing contained in this section shall prevent anyone from being charged with trafficking, distribution or possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
A person acting in good faith may receive a naloxone prescription, possess naloxone and administer naloxone to an individual appearing to experience an opiate-related overdose.
More information on this law can be found by going here.