In May of this year, the Overdose Prevention Act went into law in the State of New Jersey. The purpose of this law is to encourage people to seek immediate medical assistance whenever a drug overdose occurs. There have been times when people have not sought medical attention for themselves or friends because they feared that they would be prosecuted or arrested for illegal drug use or prevention. The purpose of this act is to eliminate that obstacle to obtaining treatment for someone who is experiencing a drug overdose.
If a person in good faith seeks medical assistance for a person they believe is experiencing a drug overdose, including themselves or another, neither the person calling for help or the person experiencing the overdose should be arrested, charged, prosecuted or convicted for:
- Obtaining, possessing, using or being under the influence or failing to make lawful disposition of a controlled dangerous substance;
- Inhaling the fumes or possessing a toxic chemical;
- Using, obtaining, attempting to obtain or possessing any prescription drug;
- Acquiring or obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud;
- Unlawfully possessing a controlled dangerous that was lawfully prescribed for dispensed to another;
- Using or possessing with intent to use drug paraphilia, or having a hypodermic syringe or other instrument.
This immunity does not extend to the manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute CDS, nor does it provide immunity for conviction of a crime for strict liability for a drug induced death or driving while intoxicated.