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Bill to Protect People Who Call 911 After Overdose Awaits Governor’s Signature

A bill that would protect people seeking medical help for drug overdoses is on Governor Snyder’s desk, waiting for his signature.

It’s meant to help get people on the right path and fight drug addiction without fear.

A similar bill passed last year that only applied to people under the age of 21.

But this measure would let anyone seek emergency help, for any drug, without prosecution.

“We know there are a lot of folks in our care right now who would have benefited from a thing like this,” Addiction Treatment Services CEO Chris Hindbaugh said.

It’s no secret that there’s a growing drug addiction problem in Michigan, particularly to opioids.

A new bill would give everyone the ability to call 9-1-1 and report an overdose without fear of punishment.

“What we don’t see are those folks that don’t die, that don’t make the news, clogging up our emergency rooms, clogging up our detox centers. But they came within a breath of dying.”

It’s a measure that could save lives.

Blair Township EMS says self-administered overdose reversal medications may not be as effective as picking up the phone.

“If they’re in fear of being prosecuted, there’s a chance they may not call us. And if they do not call us, they may administer the Narcan they get over the counter or through their physician and that Narcan will wear off before the narcotic does and may not wake up the next day,” EMS Director Ed Draper said.

Addiction Treatment Services is also confident this bill would cut the number of overdose deaths, and give the state a new tool to fight the growing drug epidemic.

“This is just one step in that path of taking this as a medical issue and quite honestly a public health crisis that the entire country is dealing with right now,” Hindbaugh said.

Governor Snyder is expected to sign the bill.

You can read it by clicking .

**For details on opioid abuse, including tips and resources to help fight opioid and heroin addiction, click .