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Amnesty law may prevent overdoses

November 29, 2013
by Zack Herold
Charleston Daily Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia leads the nation in overdose deaths per capita, but experts believe a law granting legal immunity to people suffering from an overdose could help drive down those numbers.

A report last month by the Trust for America's Health found West Virginia had 28.9 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents in 2010, the highest rate in the nation.

Trust for America's Health suggested West Virginia could help reduce those overdoses with a "Good Samaritan law" that would grant some degree of immunity to individuals seeking help for an overdose patient, either for themselves or someone else.

A 2011 study by the University of Washington found 88 percent of opiate users said they would be more likely to call 911 during an overdose because of the state's Good Samaritan law.

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