Georgia Joins Florida in Implementing 911 Amnesty Emergency Calls for Overdoses
All opiate overdose deaths are preventable with overdose reversal medications like naloxone (Narcan), so why hasn’t there been a federal decree for all first responders and police officers to keep opiate reversal medications on hand? We’re not sure. But Georgia, Florida’s sister-state, is moving towards implementing legislation similar to the sunshine state. Georgia has recently passed legislation granting amnesty to those who call 911 in response to an overdose. Callers must remain with overdose victims to be eligible for amnesty. Both the victim and caller are immune from reprisal if they cooperate fully with police officers.
According to Forsyth News, the opiate overdose reversal drug, narcan, has remedied 10,000 cases of opiate overdoses nationwide. Narcan alleviates the central nervous system during an overdose, allowing victims of overdose to breathe again- averting permanent brain damage and death. Naloxone has been made available to everyday people with a prescription to have on hand in the event of an emergency overdose. The medication is available as a shot, or nasal spray- which is what most first responders and police officers carry with them.
Thus far, according to Forsyth News, there have been 212 reported overdose reversals administered by citizens, and 17 by law enforcement officers since the narcan legislation has been passed. Narcan is unpleasant, but gives people with substance use disorders a second chance at life. The drug immediately plummets users into withdrawal; most vomit, sweat profusely, suffer from stomach cramps, and disrupt their sense of equilibrium. The hope of state officials is Narcan will serve as a wake-up call for most victims with untreated substance use disorders, and will serve as a springboard for beginning addiction treatment.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.