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Local advocates rally at capitol to support "Good Samaritan" bill

Alexandra Olgin

Local advocates are striving to get the heroin problem in Missouri under control.The Missouri Recovery Network and Roosevelt University in Chicago conducted a study of heroin use. They found more people sought treatment for heroin and opiates than for methamphetamines in Missouri.

About 50 people rallied on the steps of the Missouri capitol building at noon today (Tuesday) to support a new House bill aimed to protect substance abusers who are seeking or helping someone else get medical attention in an emergency. The so-called Good Samaritan Bill would give limited legal immunity to those who have possession of a controlled substance when they call 911. Drug policy researcher Kathie Kane-Willis says she came to Jefferson City to help organize the rally for the bill.

“It’s not always the person who’s calling who is trying to protect themselves. It’s also they are trying to protect the person who has overdosed. They are fearful of waking up and having a felony case now. And that can be a huge barrier to people seeking help.” 

The bill is now awaiting hearing in the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee.

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