Poll: Should overdose survivors have to participate in a drug treatment program in exchange for immunity?
HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– A bill proposed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would force overdose survivors to seek addiction treatment or face the loss of their immunity to prosecution.
House Bill no. 1501, proposed by Rep. Frank Burns, would change the current Pennsylvania Good Samaritan Law, which generally shields people who overdose from being charged with anything.
The proposed bill would require overdose survivors to participate in a drug treatment program within 30 days of the overdose for an exchange of immunity.
This would prevent a side effect of the Good Samaritan Law, which is that some law enforcement are seeing the same users overdose time and time again while being shielded from charges or prosecution.
Of course, if the overdose survivor did not participate in a drug treatment program within 30 days of the overdose, they would be subject to charges under the new bill.
While that may stiffen the punishments against drug users, it may also increase the number of arrests of drug users.
Our question is, should overdose survivors have to participate in a drug treatment program in exchange for immunity?