Laws and Legislation
- Last Updated: 8.31.16
Good Samaritan Law (Limited Criminal Immunity)
The Maryland Good Samaritan Law, effective October 1, 2015, provides protection from arrest as well as prosecution for certain specific crimes and expands the charges from which people assisting in an emergency overdose situation are immune. If someone calls 911 in an effort to help during an overdose crisis, or they are experiencing an overdose, their parole and probation status will not be affected, and they will not be arrested, charged or prosecuted for:
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance
- Possession or use of drug paraphernalia
- Providing alcohol to minors
Maryland Statute §§13-3101-09 Authorizing Establishment of an Overdose Response Program and the Administering of Naloxone by Certified Individuals
This statute provides authorization for the establishment of an Overdose Response Program in the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), through which certain trained, certified individuals may administer naloxone to an individual experiencing, or believed to be experiencing, an opioid overdose, in order to prevent a fatality when medical services are not immediately available (SB610).
What is Naloxone?
Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an opioid antagonist used in emergency medicine to rapidly reverse opioid-related sedation and respiratory depression.
According to §§13-3101-09, to be eligible to obtain a certificate, an individual must be 1) 18 or older; 2) have or reasonably expect to have the ability to assist a person who is going through an overdose; and 3) successfully complete an educational training program provided by either a public or private entity authorized by DHMH. (SB 610, 2013 Session). Entities authorized by DHMH "must issue a certificate to any applicant who meets the specified requirements. Each certificate must include a statement that the holder is authorized to administer naloxone, the full name of the certificate holder, and a serial number. A certificate is valid for two years and may be renewed. To renew a certificate, a certificate holder must successfully complete a refresher training program or demonstrate proficiency to the public or private entity issuing certificates."