Pubdate: Sat, 07 Mar 2015
Source: Concord Monitor (NH)
Copyright: 2015 Monitor Publishing Company
Author: Theresa Earle


State Rep. Amanda Bouldin is sponsoring HB 270, a bill that will 
prevent expensive, preventable, and tragic deaths from drug and 
alcohol overdoses.

In the heat of any emergency, people make poor decisions. But every 
passing second increases the risk of death. Right or wrong, someone 
else  and their families  will suffer the deadly consequences of fear 
and indecision. But it doesn't have to be that way. The solution is 
simple. And it doesn't cost the taxpayers a penny.

Under HB 270, a person who calls for help in a true emergency has 
done the right thing: the person may not be prosecuted for whatever 
minor offense may have occurred. The bill strikes a wise balance 
between saving lives and punishing serious drug offenses, and all 
serious crimes are still punishable.

However, the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police believes 
that if police departments cannot always threaten prosecution on the 
smallest offenses, addicts will not seek treatment. Has any addict 
ever sought treatment because their behavior was illegal? Of course not.

The bill is not about addicts: Anyone can overdose  even a first time 
user. Even minor children. Even the elderly. The bill is about all 
drug-related medical emergencies, not about addicts.

HB 270 reflects our core values: In an emergency, do we want to save 
a life or prosecute a minor drug offense? If you believe everyone 
should confidently call for help during an overdose, please contact 
your local representatives and request that they support HB 270.


- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom