Speaking of obtaining medical attention, the other Washington State ‘Good Samaritan’ law, RCW 69.50.315, is an extremely important one to keep in mind at all times, not merely while raving.
A person acting in good faith who seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug-related overdose shall not be charged or prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance pursuant to RCW69.50.4013, or penalized under RCW 69.50.4014, if the evidence for the charge of possession of a controlled substance was obtained as a result of the person seeking medical assistance.
In essence, the law protects you from being prosecuted for intoxication or possession of a controlled substance if you are obtaining medical attention for someone suffering an overdose. Furthermore, if the OD is due to the effect of excessive opiate consumption, the person acting in good faith can receive naloxone, an opiate antagonist, in order to counteract the danger.
Considering that overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., it’s extremely important that taking action to save those in danger can be done without fear. Yes, you might still have your drugs confiscated, but when weighed against a life, the right decision is not even a question. Keep in mind that this law only protects the Good Samaritan from prosecution due to controlled substances, other illegal activities are still illegal.
This only applies to Washington, however. While Oregon has a ‘Good Samaritan’ law for those who provide CPR and aid to those in need, the state does not possess one to protect people reporting an overdose; and indeed, police recently charged an individual for seeking medical attention when under the influence. While there is a bill in the works to rectify this issue, for now, drug overdoses endanger not only the victim, but those who try and help him or her as well.
At Dance Music Northwest, we are strong proponents of harm reduction, and hope that everyone can remain safe, and everyone can be a Good Samaritan. If you want to be a part of a helpful, informative community, then join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and in our comments!
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