Watauga Substance Abuse Prevention | Good Samaritan Law

Good Samaritan Law


Be a Good Samaritan, Call 9-1-1

North Carolina’s Good Samaritan Law offers immunity from low-level substance abuse crimes, such as possession of small amounts of drugs or paraphernalia, or underage possession or consumption of alcohol, when you seek medical assistance for someone experiencing an overdose.

It’s incredibly important to be aware of this law, and never let fear of getting in trouble keep you from calling 911 to summon help if someone is experiencing an overdose. The Good Samaritan Law can play a huge part in reducing drug and alcohol overdose deaths in our state. Are you a Good Samaritan?

Under the Good Samaritan Law’s provisions, you are immune from prosecution of low-level substance abuse crimes if there is a reasonable belief that someone is experiencing an overdose and you follow these simple steps:

  • Report the overdose to the appropriate authority, such as an officer of the law, 911 operator, or medical professional.
  • Remain on the scene until help comes.
  • Cooperate with law enforcement officers and medical professionals.

If someone is experiencing an overdose, Call 9-1-1, begin rescue breathing, and stay with the person until help arrives.

Important facts about the Good Samaritan Law:

Drug overdose laws will not provide immunity from serious drug crimes, such as:

  • Distribution of a controlled substance. This includes distributing, selling, or conspiring to distribute or sell illicit or prescription drugs.
  • Manufacturing of a controlled substance. In North Carolina, it is illegal to manufacture or grow illicit drugs, including methamphetamines and synthetic drugs. If you are found involved in any step of the manufacturing process, you may not be protected under Good Samaritan immunity provisions and face criminal charges.
  • Prescription fraud. You may face drug crime charges if you are found forging or filling prescriptions without authorization
  • Drug trafficking. In North Carolina, you may face drug trafficking charges if you are found in possession of a certain amount of a controlled substance.

We urge you to Be a Good Samaritan and seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose.

See the entire Good Samaritan law here: NC General Statute Senate Bill 20