Criminal charges for overdoses in Clark County: 5 things to know

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson talks about a card that will be given to people after they overdose on opioids. Ohio's Good Samaritan law requires people seek treatment after they receive help for an opioid overdose.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Clark County prosecutors will begin using the Good Samaritan Law to charge people criminally who overdose and don’t seek treatment screenings and referrals after they’ve been revived.

Here’s five things to know about the law:

1. Background: In September 2016, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 110, more commonly known as Ohio's Good Samaritan Law.

RELATED: Clark County to charge addicts who OD, don’t seek treatment

The law grants immunity to 9-1-1 callers and to a person overdosing on heroin, opiates or other drugs from arrest, charging, prosecution, conviction and penalization for a minor drug possession offense.

2. Provisions: The Senate added two provisions to the Good Samaritan Law:

• Immunity is only good for two times and not available for people on parole.

DETAILS: Demand for, debate over Narcan soars in Springfield

• The law also requires the person who overdosed to receive a referral for treatment within 30 days of receiving medical assistance in order to receive immunity.

3. Overdoses in Clark County: So far this year, first responders have reported 325 overdoses in Clark County through March 6.

The Springfield Fire/Rescue Division has used about 540 doses through March 13.

READ MORE: Overdose epidemic straining Springfield first responders

4. New policy: Clark County overdose patients will now receive a card telling them of their obligations to seek treatment screening and referrals to avoid criminal charges. "It's just absolutely unbelievable," Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson said. "We can't continue to let people just walk in and out free to abuse themselves. It takes a toll on the system … We've got to do something to force these folks into treatment."

5. Other States: Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia have similar 9-1-1 Good Samaritan laws on the books.

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