Whiteside Manor - Affordable California Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center
We'll help you find and stay on the right path
Call 1-800-300-RECOVER (7326)

. . .

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Good Samaritans At Risk

Sometimes a news story just grabs you. Like today on Yahoo News there was this headline: " 'Grieving' Dog Refused to Leave Dead Dog's Side." Who wouldn't read that headline? It would seem the male pit bull wanted to make sure that someone would come along and care for his wounded/deceased friend. Heartbreaking to be sure. Eventually, albeit 14 + hours later, officials did come to remove his friend and to take him to a shelter. What can we learn from this story? How can we use this story to promote passage of California's SB472?

On February 15, 2011, California Assembly Member Tom Ammiano introduced AB472 to add Section 11376.5 to the California Health and Safety Code, relating to controlled substances:
"This bill would provide that it shall not be a crime for any person who experiences a drug-related overdose, as defined, who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance, or any other person who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for the person experiencing a drug-related overdose, to be under the influence of, or to possess for personal use, a controlled substance, controlled substance analog, or drug paraphernalia, under certain circumstances related to a drug-related overdose that prompted the seeking of medical assistance if that person does not obstruct medical or law enforcement personnel."
Addiction is a disease and yet many die each year from reversible drug overdoses. In 2008, 36,000 Americans died of drug overdoses (half of these resulted from prescription drugs). We might wonder how many of these deaths could have been prevented if the addict's friends or family members were not afraid of the reprisal of taking them to a hospital.  On May 3, 2012, the Orange County Register ran a story "Thousands Die From Overdoses" which chronicles one family's story and how the outcome resulted in part because the friends were afraid of getting into trouble if they took Joey to the hospital.

Addicts will tell you they don't want to end up as a "drag out," being left on the side of the road to die alone. If your friend went into to insulin shock from the disease of diabetes, you wouldn't hesitate to take them to the ER. The disease of addiction, just like any other disease, requires treatment and compassion.

So, take a few minutes today and think about the FOX news story about the pit bull that stayed with his dying friend, then think about writing your representative to promote a Good Samaritan Law (New York, Illinois and Florida have such laws). California still has not passed AB472.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!