Indiana’s Lifeline Law Helps College Students Report Overdoses Without Consequences

A college student on the phone

Coping with drug addiction makes life much harder than it already is. What most individuals do not understand is that addiction affects everyone around the person with the addiction. This has become increasingly hazardous with the rise of prescription drug abuse, heroin abuse and related injury. Friends, family, and even strangers have had a difficult time dealing with serious injury as a result of drug abuse because of the previous laws set in place. Anyone who called or escorted an individual whose health was in jeopardy would be questioned and possibly penalized for related drug offenses. These previous laws deterred individuals from calling the proper authorities for help, which resulted in a higher rate of overdose deaths. The new lifeline law in Indiana is helping college students report overdoses without consequences.

New Indiana Law and College Students

The new Lifeline Law is helping everyone help others who could possibly die from drug overdose. The law removes previous barriers that would prevent anyone from calling for help in the case of an overdose. Any individual that calls for help is given immunity if they are publicly intoxicated and/or a minor. Those individuals that call and stay for help will not get into trouble. In order to receive immunity the caller must stay on scene until help arrives, cooperate with authorities, and provide their name and other relevant information. Indiana Youth Services has stated that over 19 lives have been saved by this new law. The idea behind the new law is simple: save lives. The state government is working diligently to make a new environment that encourages individuals to help one another. It is about getting students help, support, and resources they need to get better. The goal is to make this type of reporting the norm, so that if there is a situation where someone is not sure they call.

Indiana and Substance Abuse

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that more than two dozen young adults, under the age of 21, have died from alcohol poisoning in the past ten years. Indiana has been hit harder than most states by prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse. This rise in abuse has given way to a rise in related crime and injury. The death toll continues to climb from prescription drug addiction, which is not the most commonly abused drug. It has taken over, for motor vehicle accidents, as the most common cause of injury or fatality. Prescription drugs are also the most popular gateway drug, claiming that seat from marijuana which held it for decades. Prescription drug abuse has also led to the largest outbreak of HIV and hepatitis in the state. It has forced the government to issue a state of emergency and to install a needle exchange program. The new law will help get those individuals help who need it most.

Good Samaritan Laws

This new law is similar to the other new laws that are being passed across the country. Universally known as Good Samaritan Laws, they work to keep people alive. The rise in drug abuse and addiction across the country has led to an outbreak of related injury and fatality as a result of overdose. These laws help to encourage individuals to do the right thing and call for help. Those who are afraid of persecution cannot fear anymore. The goal is to save lives and these laws are doing just that. College students should understand this message, so if the time comes they know to do the right thing.

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