MAYVILLE, N.Y. - The New York State 911 Good Samaritan Law allows people of any age to call 911 without fear of arrest if they are having a drug or alcohol overdose that requires emergency medical care or if they witness someone overdosing. A “Samaritan” must act in good faith to save a person’s life or provide emergency care life-saving treatment such as naloxone (Narcan) until help arrives. Ultimately, no one should think twice about trying to save another person’s life.
A person in need of any medical help, including those experiencing a drug overdose, may not be able to call for help and may need to rely on the intervention of friends or passing strangers.
“The Good Samaritan Law is still in effect,” said Police Chief Harry Snellings of the Jamestown Police Department. “It was put in place to encourage people to call to try to prevent overdose deaths. Not calling could ultimately lead to someone dying.”
New York’s Good Samaritan law protects everyone who seeks medical assistance for themselves or another person who is experiencing a drug overdose. The person who suffered the overdose would also be protected from certain criminal penalties. For more information visit the NYS Department of Health’s website to learn how New York State's 911 Good Samaritan Law Protects YOU or view NYS's 911 Good Samaritan Law Fact Sheet.
The following are signs of an overdose. CALL 911 if the person:
- Is passed out and cannot be woken up;
- Is not breathing, breathing very slowly, or making gurgling sounds;
- Has lips that are blue or grayish color; and
- Administer naloxone (Narcan) if available.
Chautauqua County government and its partners encourage people who use drugs, and their family members, to take advantage of local resources for harm reduction and recovery. People who use drugs and their families should obtain a naloxone (Narcan) kit if they do not have one on hand, and should be prepared to call 911.
Resources are also available:
- Visit https://combataddictionchq.com/ to learn about chemical dependency services available throughout the County.
- The Chautauqua County Crisis Hotline, 1-800-724-0461, is available if you are experiencing a personal crisis or are in emotional distress.
- The Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County has many resources to assist individuals suffering substance use disorders and their families. They can help individuals with recovery, decreasing use, or using in a safer way by connecting people anywhere in the County with a Recovery Coach. Call 716-661-9044 for more information.
- Evergreen Health Services provides naloxone training and kits and a Syringe Exchange Program. They can be reached by calling 716-541-0678.