State Representatives Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) and Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) this week introduced the Good Samaritan bill, which provides immunity from minor drug possession when someone calls 9-1-1 to report a drug overdose in progress.

In addition, House Bill 249 promotes the consideration of treatment over jail when an individual is being sentenced in violation of community control or post-release control.  Although the bill provides immunity for minor drug offenses, higher level drug offenders, such as drug dealers, would not have any immunity from the law.

“Nearly 50 percent of Ohio overdose deaths are caused by heroin.  People at the scene don’t call 9-1-1, because they are afraid of being arrested,” said Representative Sprague.  “They run away, the other person dies, and no one is prosecuted.  Under this bill, there is an opportunity to save someone’s life and direct everyone into treatment.”

By capitalizing on the progress that has been made over the last few years, led by Representative Sprague, House Bill 249 is part of a large package of recently introduced bills to address Ohio’s addiction problem. 

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