© 2023 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Law protecting overdose witnesses highlighted

Chris Caya/WBFO News

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.