A bill that won final legislative approval Sunday aims to persuade people to call for help when a friend is overdosing on drugs.
If signed by the governor, SB 5516 will bar prosecution of people who report an overdose. Sen. Rosa Franklin sought the legislation after a Puyallup teenager, Danielle McCarthy, overdosed on Ecstasy in 2007 and died after fellow partiers failed to get medical help for her. Franklin said in a statement:
“Many of these people could be saved, but their friends are scared of prosecution and gamble that their friends will make it through without medical help.”
The immunity doesn’t apply to the person who gave or sold the drugs.
The bill also allows use of the drug Naloxone to stop an overdose. Rep. Bill Hinkle, a former paramedic, objected to letting untrained people administer the drug. He predicted drug users would die while their friends try to administer Naloxone instead of calling 911.