Georgia Overdose Prevention is a grassroots organization comprised of parents, healthcare professionals, harm reduction advocates and friends of those who have lost loved ones to accidental drug overdose. Our group was formed to create and advocate for the passage of the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Law.
Our initial goal was achieved when Governor Nathan Deal signed into law Georgia House Bill 965 on April 24, 2014. This common-sense law, sponsored by Representative Sharon Cooper and Senator Renee Unterman, provides protection for people who call 911 and seek medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug or alcohol-related overdose. The caller and the victim cannot be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for small amounts of drugs, alcohol, or drug paraphernalia if the evidence was obtained as a result of seeking medical assistance.
The law also increases access to the opioid overdose “antidote” naloxone, also called Narcan. Physicians may prescribe naloxone to a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist someone at risk of opioid overdose, and to first responders, harm reduction organizations, and pain management clinics. Pharmacists are permitted to dispense naloxone under that prescription. The physician, pharmacist, and person administering naloxone are immune from civil, criminal, and professional liability as long as they act in good faith and in compliance with the applicable standard of care. The timely administration of naloxone typically reverses the effects of opiates such as heroin and opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and others. Victims of opioid overdose who receive naloxone in time are less likely to die or suffer long-term brain or tissue damage.
Inspired by the lives that have been saved by the passage of the Medical Amnesty Law, Georgia Overdose Prevention is now focused on education, implementation and development of resources for Georgia's 911 Medical Amnesty Law.
Ultimately, our goal is to save lives.