Our people are dying. Rates of overdoses are skyrocketing and we need to do better, Maine. We need to take common-sense steps to save more lives.

Ideally, this would mean changing drug laws to treat substance use disorder with care and compassion, without arresting and criminalizing people who are fighting this disease. We should not wait any longer when there is something our lawmakers can do now!

Sen. Chloe Maxmin has put in a bipartisan bill, L.D. 1862, to expand Maine’s Good Samaritan law and provide more legal protections for folks who call 911 to save a life. Right now, people are still scared to call 911 because, as the law currently stands, they could face years of incarceration for being caught at the scene of an overdose.

I have witnessed and revived folks in active overdose situations. When they come back, I tell them I nearly had to call 911. That is the fear. My friends are more afraid of a call for help than they are of dying. They are terrified not by the fact they just died, but by the fact the police may be on their way. Our laws cannot stand in the way of saving lives.

We need lawmakers to immediately expand Maine’s Good Samaritan Law so folks aren’t in fear when they call for life-saving help. No one should be punished for helping save someone. Our current overdose rates clearly show we are in an emergency situation. Passing L.D. 1862 is a common-sense way to save more lives of folks in Maine.

Kayty Robbins

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