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911 Good Samaritan Laws

The Drug War Is Crazy... But There Is Hope

Tessie Castillo | Posted 07.07.2014 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

It is time for a new approach, one that treats addiction as a health problem, not a criminal one, and invests in education instead of incarceration. We have a long, long way to go. But at least that journey has started.

When to Kill the Bill: Dilemmas, Compromise, and Overdose Prevention Laws

Tessie Castillo | Posted 05.27.2014 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

How much compromise is too much? It's a question that plagues policy advocates when their champion legislation is watered down or stuffed with pork in legislative committees.

Georgia Governor Signs 911 Medical Amnesty/ Naloxone Law

Tessie Castillo | Posted 06.25.2014 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

The amendment, added with no warning, threatened to curtail efforts to pass the life-saving bill and is an ugly example of how politics often come before people. But after some political squabbling, the Senate passed the bill last month.

What Do Prosecutors and District Attorneys Say About 911 Good Samaritan Laws?

Tessie Castillo | Posted 06.16.2014 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

While law enforcement, public health advocates, and people directly affected by drug overdose are front and center in these debates, state prosecutors and district attorneys also play a critical role in advocacy efforts -- often for, but sometimes against, these laws.

Matt Sledge

Maine Poised To Pass Lifesaving Anti-Overdose Bill

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 04.15.2014 | Politics

After unanimous approval from state House lawmakers on Monday, Maine's legislature appears poised to pass a lifesaving anti-overdose bill despite a ve...

Hoffman's Death Illustrates Heroin's Ability to Hijack the Brain

Dr. Timothy P. Condon | Posted 04.15.2014 | Healthy Living
Dr. Timothy P. Condon

The heroin epidemic is dangerous, startling, and tragic. But it is far from hopeless. The solutions are in front of us, and research continues to provide more answers every day. We must be as focused and driven as the addicted brain: Implement the solutions. Now.

To Honor Hoffman, Focus on Prevention, not the Drug War

Leo Beletsky | Posted 04.05.2014 | Politics
Leo Beletsky

Aggressive and mounting application of criminal prosecutions following overdose events totally thwart any positive public health impact of Good Samaritan legislation and other efforts to encourage overdose witnesses to come forward.

The Tragedy of Philip Seymour Hoffman: How We Can Prevent Overdose Deaths

Meghan Ralston | Posted 04.04.2014 | Politics
Meghan Ralston

We'll likely learn a great deal more about Hoffman, his drug use and his personal demons. Some will likely call his death a 'teachable moment.' But we need to ensure that what we're teaching includes information that can save lives.

Make 2014 the Year to Pass Well-Written 911 Good Samaritan Overdose Laws

Elaine Pawlowski | Posted 03.09.2014 | Impact
Elaine Pawlowski

Passing well written 911 Good Samaritan Overdose Laws tells society that all of those struggling with alcohol and drug abuse are worth saving, including those that are on probation, on parole or awaiting a drug violation.

More States Need 911 Overdose Good Samaritan Laws

Elaine Pawlowski | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Elaine Pawlowski

When limited protection is attached to 911 Overdose Good Samaritan Laws, young people in particular are still afraid to call 911. N.Y. State for example, is choosing who may seek lifesaving emergency treatment.

White People Are Not Exempt From Drug Overdose

Tessie Castillo | Posted 11.23.2013 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

When it comes to drug overdose, and most other societal ills, change seems to happen in direct relation to how much the epidemic creeps into white communities and people who "don't look like drug users" demand action.

Back-to-College: Educate Your Child to Call 911

Elaine Pawlowski | Posted 11.05.2013 | College
Elaine Pawlowski

Studies show that fear of criminal prosecution is the number one reason that people hesitate to call 911 for a drug or alcohol overdose. Would your child be afraid to call 911 in a possible overdose situation?

Does Cracking Down on Prescription Opiates Lead to More Heroin Use?

Tessie Castillo | Posted 10.13.2013 | Healthy Living
Tessie Castillo

With prescription pill use on the rise everywhere, our nation has begun cracking down on over-prescribing, "doctor shopping," pill mills and misuse of...

Reevaluating Drug Courts: No Mother Should Have to Go Through What I Did

Elaine Pawlowski | Posted 09.28.2013 | Politics
Elaine Pawlowski

No mother should have to face what I've had to -- the death of a promising and cherished son. We need to hold drug courts accountable to protect everyone who needs them. No one should face punishment for seeking lifesaving treatment.

"911 Good Samaritan Laws Could Have Saved My Son. Now At Least They Can Save Someone Else's"

Tessie Castillo | Posted 09.01.2013 | Parents
Tessie Castillo

David Humes lost his son Greg to a drug overdose in May 2012. While the loss of a child is devastating to any parent, Greg's death was especially hard...

Governor LePage of Maine Joins Christie and Schwarzenegger on Wall of Shame: Vetoes Life-Saving Bill

Tessie Castillo | Posted 08.15.2013 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

Governor LePage of Maine recently vetoed a 911 Good Samaritan bill that would have saved thousands of lives from accidental drug overdose. The bill, L...

Losing a Child to Drug Overdose. And How to Prevent It

Tessie Castillo | Posted 08.13.2013 | Parents
Tessie Castillo

Two years ago Robin Elliott lived through every parent's worst nightmare. Her 21-year-old son Zack died of a drug overdose. Like any parent, Robin ado...

A Proud Day for Vermont: A Proud Year for Overdose Prevention Advocates

Tessie Castillo | Posted 08.05.2013 | Politics
Tessie Castillo

Anyone who has ever indulged in hero fantasies about saving lives just might get their chance thanks to new drug overdose prevention laws across the country. On Wednesday, June 5th, Vermont became the 13th state to pass a law expanding lay access to naloxone, a medication used to reverse opiate overdose.