Ammiano Wants Drug Overdosers To Call 911 -- And Have No Fear
|Overdosing doesn't have to be a crime|
New Mexico and Washington state have already passed similar legislation.
With about 3,500 Californians dying of overdoses each year, the law is meant to ease fears about calling authorities to report an overdose "which researchers continually identify as the most significant barrier to the ideal first response of calling emergency services," according to the bill.
"I see how some people might be reluctant to call for help," said SFPD spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak.
But it seems that San Francisco law enforcers already give overdose callers a free pass. Andraychak says the police typically respond with paramedics on overdose calls. Cops will confiscate the remaining drugs and book it into evidence, and write up the incident in a police report.
Booking the drugs as evidence is one thing; arresting the person is another. If it looks like an accidental overdose, police will not make an arrest, he says.
"It would be highly unlikely a prosecution would start...It's a medical emergency more than anything else," Andraychak said.
A General Hospital spokesperson told SF Weekly that the hospital staff does not call the cops when people are brought in for overdoses.
It seemed he may have been with people and they just left him, Andraychak says. He was 22 years old.
"That's one of my sad memories," Andraychak says.
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