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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Law protecting overdose witnesses highlighted

Avi Israel.Good Samaritan Law.JPG
Chris Caya/WBFO News
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An effort is underway to help save people from fatal drug overdoses, which are now the leading cause of accidental death in New York State. Advocates are publicizing the '911 Good Samaritan Law' which shields people who call 911 from criminal charges in an overdose situation or in a case involving minors with alcohol.

Avi Israel, who lost his son Michael to prescription drug abuse, says it is "your duty as a human being" to call 911 when people need help.

"Parents need to get over that stigma that my son or my daughter or my husband or my wife or whoever is addicted because that pain that you think you're going to get from the shame is nothing compared to the pain of burying somebody that you love," Israel said.

In 2010 alone, nearly 2,000 people across the state died from an accidental drug overdose and often times they were not alone.

In addition to New York, nine other states now have 911 Good Samaritan Laws.