Naloxone, a medicine used to stop the effects of an opioid overdose, can be easily applied via a squirt through the nose or a shot in the arm. Because of the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Law, both civilians and first-responding law enforcement can administer Naloxone themselves or seek help without fear of punishment in a situation where seconds can count.
“[Officers] stood there and actually had to watch this person go into cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest, starting CPR because they didn’t have the means or the tools to do anything,” said officer Shane Bonebrake of the Woodstock Police Department in Georgia. “Now we’ve got this tool, and they can actually see the [benefit]. It’s amazing.”
Naloxone, or Narcan, has saved more than 400 lives in Georgia since the bill’s passage in the spring of 2014, according to Georgia Overdose Prevention.