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New State Legislation Gives Immunity to Those Reporting a Drug Overdose

FOX Chicago News / Tisha Lewis

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois State Senate gave the green light to legislation that would save lives from drug overdose.

Lawmakers said friends are watching friends die from drug overdose. They fear if they call for help they will face prosecution.

The goal of the bill is to save lives of drug addicts. It passed unanimously and could become law by the end of next month.

State Senator Ira Silverstein said more people reportedly die from a drug overdose in the state of Illinois than from car accidents.

“Today, Senate Bill 1701 was passed in the Senate,” Silverstein said. “It gives immunity to individuals who call 911 when they discover an individual that has overdosed.”

Silverstein describes his bill as life-saving legislation.

“I think it’s very important that an individual who finds someone overdose and calls 911 that he or she should not be liable or arrested for any type of drug related offenses,” Silverstein explained.

The bill will make Illinois one of three states that provides immunity from prosecution for drug possession when a person seeks aid for a friend’s overdose.

New Hope Recovery Center’s Intake Director Jim Butler said time and time again friends watch friends die, instead of calling for help.

“We’ve been involved in instances like this where at our program in the Western suburbs where folks have died under these exact circumstances that we’re talking about right now, needlessly,” Butler said.

The immunity is only granted for those without a prior criminal offense.

Butler said that safeguard could interfere with saving lives.

“If someone is going to try and save a life,” Butler said, “Whether they have a previous arrest record or not, I don’t think should come into play.”

Critics fear the bill lets the bad guys go and provides a loophole for drug dealers.

There are safeguards in place to prevent abuse of the law including a limit on the amount of drugs in someone’s possession.

Illinois joins the states of Washington and New Mexico which already have similar laws.

New Hope Recovery Center is a residential drug and alcohol treatment center, located in Chicago, Illinois (IL). New Hopes staff of addiction recovery
professionals include certified addiction counselors, doctors specializing in addiction counseling, family therapist, consulting psychiatrist, licensed clinical social workers and
other treatment professionals that include adult women and men. We provide drug addiction treatment to adults 18 and over, males, females , and counseling to parents,
spouses, siblings and other family members involved in the lives of our patients. We have been successful to help alcoholics and drug addicts suffering from alcoholism
and drug addiction from drugs that include alcohol, meth “speed”, cocaine and other stimulants, narcotic opiates such as heroin, methadone, oxyContin, vicodin,
and other narcotic painkillers, and sedative benzodiazepines. New Hope is a successful drug rehab center offering the best alcohol and drug rehabilitation treatment with
a high success rate. New Hope drug rehab center will help the alcoholic and drug addict re-acquire the ethics and morals that once existed before drugs entered into their

  • Metro Location
    New Hope Recovery Center
    Intake and Assessment Office

    2835 N Sheffield Ave
    Suite 407

    Chicago, Illinois (IL) 60657

    Direct: 773-883-3916
    Toll Free: 888-707-4673
  • Suburban Location
    New Hope Recovery Center

    309 Hamilton Street
    Suite B

    Geneva, Illinois (IL) 60134

    Direct: 630-402-0144
    Toll Free: 888-707-4673

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