Illinois Law Aims to Prevent Drug Overdose Deaths

In June 2012, a new law called the Emergency Medical Services Access Act (EMSAA) went into effect in Illinois. Are you aware of its implications?

What is the Emergency Medical Services Access Act?

Also known as the Good Samaritan Overdose Law, EMSAA protects people from being charged with possession for small amounts of illegal drugs if they call 911 or take someone to the ER during an overdose.

Who Does the Good Samaritan Overdose Law Protect?

Cell Phone EmergencyImmunity applies to the caller and victim, but if there is another outstanding drug-related charge, the immunity does not apply. The law also does not protect an overdose that involves a minor, but there may be local laws and university policies that provide similar protection.

If the caller seeks medical attention in good faith or seeking help if the victim is alive, and the person dies, there is still protection. However, the protection does not extend to mules, dealers, or trafficers with high volumes of drugs. For example, DuPage County, IL is prosecuting a drug dealer involved in a fatal overdose.

How Much is Considered a “Small Amount” under EMSAA?

A small amount is considered 3 grams or less. Protected drugs are heroin, cocaine and less than one gram of meth. A great resource to quickly access the accepted amounts by drug is www.StopOverdoseIL.org. Marijuana is not covered by this law.

Why was the Good Samaritan Overdose Law Passed?

The law was instituted because people do drugs in groups, but due to legal repercussions, drug users fear taking in someone who overdoses. Lawmakers hope that fatal overdoses can be avoided or reduced thanks to the law.

Fight Drug Use With ARCpoint Labs of Elk Grove Village

At ARCpointLabs of Elk Grove Village, we support the Good Samaritan Overdose Act because we want to see less fatalities due to drug overdoses. But we also acknowledge that we must continue to target drug use in our communities. Heroin use has soared to an 153% increase among Chicago’s suburban areas the past few years: for example, in 2012, Cook County had 533 opiate-related ER deaths.

Young suburban people are bypassing “gateway” drugs and alcohol and going right to heroin. Even the “good kids” involved in athletics and academics are attracted to heroin and other drugs, which is why it’s key for everyone to be aware of the signs of possible heroin use, including:

  • Disinterest in school
  • Change of friends
  • Small pupils
  • Disinterest in appearance
  • Combative behavior

Should you suspect a person in your family of possible drug usage, please contact ARCpoint Labs of Elk Grove Village at (847) 264-4677 to discuss private drug testing.

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