HAUPPAUGE, NY - On Wednesday, February 1st, Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker joined Suffolk County policymakers in passing Introductory Resolution 1980-2022, requiring all Narcan kits distributed in Suffolk County to include the “Good Samaritan Law”. The New York State 911 Good Samaritan Law provides legal protection to people who give assistance to those experiencing drug or alcohol overdoses, without fear of arrest. Once signed by County Executive Bellone, the law, sponsored by Legislator Anker, will go into effect within 90 days.
“Through research and data, we know that administering the overdose reversing drug, commonly known as Narcan, saves lives. Unfortunately, on many occasions, bystanders have refrained from calling 911 when witnessing an overdose. With this additional protective measure, we’re hoping to help alleviate that hesitancy,” said Legislator Sarah Anker.
Legislator Anker was encouraged to sponsor this legislation after the advocacy of local constituents Karen Camberdella and Janet Donnery, who attends the Suffolk County Addiction Prevention and Support Advisory Panel, and advocates for strategies for those who struggle with drug addiction.
As Chair of the panel, Legislator Anker worked with Janet and Karen to provide greater awareness regarding the Good Samaritan Law.
The Good Samaritan Law protects you from charges and prosecutions for:
- Possessing controlled substances under 8 ounces, up to and including A2 felony offenses
- Possessing alcohol, where underage drinking is involved
- Possessing any quantity of marijuana
- Possessing drug paraphernalia
- Sharing Drugs
The Good Samaritan Law does NOT protect you from charges and prosecutions from the following:
- A1 felony possession of a controlled substance 8 ounces or more
- Sale or intent to sell controlled substances
- Open warrants for arrest
- Violation of probation or parole
Legislator Anker dedicated the resolution to Timothy Donnery, Janet Donnery’s son, who was tragically lost to an overdose. “Save a life, it's a choice worth making.” Janet said, “As my beautiful son once wrote to me, ‘You are the legs to my table, without you, I'd collapse.’ We hope this legislation is the legs to someone's table.”
The New York State Department of Health provides Good Samaritan Law palm cards at no charge, which can be located on the New York State Department of Health’s website, https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/aids/general/opioid_overdose_prevention/good_samaritan_law.htm. The information for the law can also be found on the Suffolk County Department of Health’s website.
For more information, please call Legislator Anker’s office at 631-854-1600.
Pictured - Legislator Anker (center) presents certificates of appreciation to Karen Camberdella (left) and Janet Donnery (right)