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Ohio law lets you call for help when a friend overdoses

It seems that calling 911 for help would be the natural thing to do if you suspect a friend has overdosed on drugs. But what if you do not want to get your friend in trouble or you have been using too?

The good news is that in Ohio, you and your friend should be fine legally, even if you are in college. There are a few exceptions, though.

Exceptions to the 911 Good Samaritan Law

The 911 Good Samaritan Law is not always quite as simple as calling 911 for a friend's immediate treatment and then moving on with your life. For example, the law does give medical personnel the authority to divulge to the police the name and address of your friend who overdosed.

However, this can also be viewed as a positive aspect of the law. For your friend to receive immunity, he or she has to get a treatment referral within the 30 days following the overdose. Knowing that police have his or her contact information may be a good incentive for your friend to get the help he or she may not have otherwise.

The other exceptions to the law are perhaps more alarming. The law says people on parole do not qualify for immunity and that a person can receive immunity only two times. Obviously, if you or your friend has already gotten immunity twice or are on parole, you may be too scared to call 911. Saving someone's life is vital, though, and a lawyer might be able to help if someone ends up charged.

Generally, you should not face charges

The good news is that a lot of people are not on parole and have yet to receive any "immunity strikes" against them. In the vast majority of cases, you can call 911 after an overdose and not have to worry about anyone being charged with a drug crime.

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