Fight or flight is an automatic response when we are stressed. When someone overdoses, some individuals take flight before emergency personnel arrive because they fear being arrested for drugs. You should remember that the overdose victim is fighting for their life. You can save that life. Don’t Run. Call 911.
The Joshua Ashley-Pauley Act encourages individuals who are witnessing an overdose to call 911 so the victim can be treated with naloxone to reverse the overdose affects and live. Sadly, too many fear they will be arrested and flee the scene of the overdose. Their friend or loved one may never receive medical attention and die.
The Joshua Ashely-Pauley Act offers this for companions or individuals: protection. If you are overdosing or are with someone who is overdosing and you stay at the scene and call 911, you will not be arrested for simple possession of drugs. What does simple possession mean though? Simple drug possession is when an individual has only enough of a controlled substance for personal use and who is in possession of a substance that was not intended for them or prescribed to them.
Note: While you won’t be arrested for simple possession for helping seek medical aid for someone overdosing, if you have warrants or become disorderly when emergency personnel arrive, you could be arrested on a different charge.
In 2018, 426 Arkansans died due to an opioid overdose. Don’t let your friend or loved one become another statistic in the national opioid epidemic. Instead of taking flight away from the scene, help someone fight for their life. Don’t Run. Call 911.