Immunity Laws Considered for Overdose Cases in Illinois


Illinois legislators are considering immunity for overdose victims and the people who help them, regardless of the quantity of drugs they have on their persons at the time, says the Chicago Tribune.

Associates of drug users who overdose are in a difficult situation. If they call for help to save the life of that person, they run the risk of arrest when the police arrive. One of the law’s main advocates, Kathie Kane-Willis, was faced with this decision almost two decades ago. She did the right thing and saved her boyfriend’s life, but she had heard of many other victims who weren’t so lucky. There have even been some Illinois overdose victims that have been dumped in the woods by so-called friends who were seeking to avoid prosecution for possession of drugs or other charges.

The proposed bill is getting mixed reviews. While some authorities greet immunity for drug overdoses with open arms, many law enforcement officials and prosecutors don’t want the people who contributed to a near-fatal overdose to escape consequences.

In general, overdoses are completely accidental, resulting from the fact that a drug user seldom knows how concentrated a drug supply is until he uses some. Heroin addicts in Illinois and elsewhere are at risk of overdose every single time they abuse heroin.

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