2012 -- H 7248 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED
A N A C T
RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS - GOOD SAMARITAN OVERDOSE PREVENTION ACT
By: Representatives Ferri, Bennett, Edwards,
Date Introduced: January 25, 2012
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 21 of the General Laws entitled "FOOD AND DRUGS" is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
THE GOOD SAMARITAN OVERDOSE PREVENTION ACT
21-28.8-1. Short title. – This chapter shall be known and may be cited as “The Good
Samaritan Overdose Prevention Act”.
21-28.8-2. Definition. – “Opioid antagonist” is a drug which is a competitive antagonist
that binds to the opioid receptors with higher affinity than agonists but does not activate the
receptors, effectively blocking the receptor, preventing the human body from making use of
opiates and endorphins.
21-28.8-3. Authority to administer opioid antagonists – Release from liability. – (a)
A person may administer an opioid antagonist to another person if:
(1) He or she, in good faith, believes the other person is experiencing a drug overdose;
(2) He or she acts with reasonable care in administering the drug to the other person.
(b) A person who administers an opioid antagonist to another person pursuant to this
section shall not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution as a result of the
administration of the drug.
21-28.8-4. Emergency overdose care – Immunity from legal repercussions. – (a) Any
person who, in good faith, without malice and in the absence of evidence of an intent to defraud,
seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug overdose or other drug-related medical
emergency shall not be charged or prosecuted for any crime under RIGL 21-28 or 21-28.5, except
for a crime involving the manufacture or possession with the intent to manufacture a controlled
substance or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, if the evidence for the
charge was gained as a result of the seeking of medical assistance.
(b) A person who experiences a drug overdose or other drug-related medical emergency
and is in need of medical assistance shall not be charged or prosecuted for any crime under RIGL
21-28 or 21-28.5, except for a crime involving the manufacture or possession with the intent to
manufacture a controlled substance or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, if
the evidence for the charge was gained as a result of the overdose and the need for medical
(c) The act of providing first aid or other medical assistance to someone who is
experiencing a drug overdose or other drug-related medical emergency may be used as a
mitigating factor in a criminal prosecution pursuant to the controlled substances act.
21-28.8-5. Law enforcement reports. – In the first week of January, 2013 and each year
thereafter, the attorney general shall, in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies and the
state police, submit to the general assembly a report summarizing the impact of this chapter on
law enforcement. The report shall include any incidents in which a law enforcement agency was
barred, due to the immunity provisions of subsection 21-28.8-4(a), from charging or prosecuting a
charged or prosecuted, and indicating whether the person was charged with, or prosecuted for,
any other criminal offense resulting from the agency's response to the request for medical
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage and shall expire on July 1, 2015.