A common issue that can occur around drug use is the hesitation to call for medical assistance when a drug overdose happens. Will you get in trouble for reporting a drug overdose in Ontario? The simple answer is no, and our government has legislation to protect you in an effort to save lives.
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (“the Act”) is a crucial piece of legislation aimed at encouraging individuals to seek emergency help when they witness a drug overdose. Enacted in 2017, the Act provides legal immunity to both the person experiencing the overdose and the individual reporting it in good faith.
Immunity from drug possession charges
Under the Act, anyone who seeks emergency medical assistance for an overdose, whether for themselves or another person, is protected from certain drug possession charges. If you report a drug overdose to emergency services or law enforcement with the sincere intention of helping, you will not face charges related to possession of controlled substances found at the scene.
Protection from parole/probation breach charges
In addition, the Act safeguards individuals who are on parole or probation from facing criminal consequences for reporting an overdose. It means that reporting an overdose under the Act cannot be used as a basis for breaching parole or probation conditions. This is intended to encourage individuals encouraged to prioritize saving lives without fear of repercussions for themselves.
Know your rights, act responsibly
While the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides essential legal protections, it’s essential to use these provisions responsibly and in good faith. The law does not grant immunity to those who are actively involved in drug trafficking, distribution, or other criminal activities. It’s crucial to remember that the intent behind the Act is to protect those who genuinely want to assist someone in distress.
At Collett Read LLP, we understand the gravity of drug charges and the potential life-altering consequences they carry. Our dedicated legal team is committed to providing you with personalized attention, effective strategies, and unwavering support throughout the legal process.