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June 23, 2013

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Legislator Ford Lights Dome for Drug Overdose Awareness

In an effort to raise awareness about New York’s Good Samaritan Law and drug overdose prevention, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Legislator Denise Ford lit the dome of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building purple.

The Good Samaritan law is designed to reduce preventable overdose deaths by encouraging people to call 911 if they witness a drug overdose, without fear of being arrested for drug possession. This policy seeks to encourage people to call 911 when witnessing or experiencing an alcohol or other drug overdose by providing a limited shield from charge and prosecution for possession of narcotics, marijuana, and for minors, alcohol. The policy also provides limited immunity from arrest when the witnesses who call 911 or an overdose victim possesses residual or very small amounts of drugs.

“The Good Samaritan Law could help save a life, and promoting awareness of it is very important” said Legislator Ford. “I urge anyone who witnesses a drug overdose to take action and call 911.”

Many deaths are preventable, if emergency medical assistance is summoned, but people using drugs or alcohol illegally often fear arrest if they call 911. Legislator Ford was joined by family members who lost loved ones to drug addiction, including the family of a Garden City resident who died after a friend declined to call 911 during an overdose.