If you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Don’t Run – Call 9-1-1
Georgia’s 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law protects you when you call for help at an alcohol or drug overdose scene!
The law states:
- The caller and the victim cannot be arrested, charged or prosecuted when you call for medical assistance at the scene of a suspected drug overdose if law enforcement arrives and finds personal use amounts of drugs and drug paraphernalia. (For immunity to apply, amounts of drugs must be: less than 4 grams of a solid substance, less than 4 grams combined weight of a solid mixed in a secondary medium, less than 1 ounce of marijuana, less than 1 milliliter of liquid).
- The caller and the victim cannot be arrested, charged or prosecuted when emergency responders called at the scene of a suspected alcohol overdose if law enforcement arrives and finds alcohol, even if you are underage.
- The caller and victim must remain at the scene until medical assistance arrives for immunity to apply.
- A medication, naloxone, can reverse an overdose from drugs like heroin, Percocet, OxyContin, Roxicodone, Codeine, Morphine, Fentanyl and other opioids. It is now available to law enforcement. If you call for help at an overdose scene, the responding officer may be equipped with naloxone and able to save the victim. Don’t be afraid to call 9-1-1! Remember: “Don’t Run – Call 9-1-1!” The law protects you.
- Anyone in Georgia who knows a person at risk of opioid overdose can legally obtain and administer naloxone to a person believed to be suffering an opioid overdose. Naloxone is available at Georgia pharmacies without a prescription. (It will be behind the pharmacy counter). Also, any physician can prescribe naloxone; any pharmacist can dispense it; any person can administer naloxone, and all are exempt from civil, criminal, and professional licensing liability. Georgia Overdose Prevention distributes free naloxone to anyone at high risk of opioid overdose and to their loved ones.
- Those who seek medical assistance for themselves or others at a drug or alcohol overdose scene shall not be subject to penalties for a violation of a protective order or restraining order, or sanctions for violation of a condition of pretrial release, probation, or parole.
Opioid abuse has become an epidemic in the state of Georgia and across the nation. According to the CDC, 48.5 million Americans have used illicit drugs or misused prescription drugs. Additionally, the number of drug overdose deaths has never been higher in the United States, and the majority of these deaths involve opioids. On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. In the midst of this epidemic, it is important to remember that anyone can be affected by opioid use and misuse – deaths from drug overdose are up among all races and adults of nearly all ages.
Recognizing the Signs of an Overdose
- Confused or slow response
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Extreme sleepiness or cannot be awakened
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pinpoint pupils
- Blue or purple fingernails or lips
What to do if someone overdoses from drugs or alcohol
- Call 9-1-1
- Ask questions to keep them awake
- Turn them on their side if they’re not breathing
- Give first aid as directed by emergency responders
- Administer Narcan (naloxone), an opioid overdose medication, if available
- Perform CPR, if qualified
If you are high risk* you can click here to request a free Narcan (naloxone) kit from Georgia Overdose Prevention.
An individual may be high risk if he/she:
- is actively using street or prescription opioids and any other street drug.
- is in recovery from opioids or any street drug.
- is a sex worker.
- has a lowered tolerance to opioids from a period of not using drugs.
- is on Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
- or has a loved one who is at risk.
Resources to Prevent and Treat Opioid Addiction
Georgia Crisis & Access Line
Never Use Alone
Cares Warm Line
Call or text: 1-844-326-5400
Opioid Treatment in Georgia
Georgia Poison Center
Coalition for a Healthy Appling County
Jeff Davis Substance Abuse Coalition
TRUST Partnership (Pierce, Brantley and Ware counties)
Wayne County Recovery Coalition