August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day

No one should be afraid to call 911 to save a life, but the war on drugs has made people afraid to do that in the case of an overdose.

VOCAL-NY members will be delivering a letter to NYPD Commissioner Kelly at One Police Plaza on International Overdose Awareness Day urging him to work with drug users to implement the new 911 Good Samaritan law to prevent fatal overdose. The new law takes effect on September 18th.

Please join us in urging NYPD to help prevent overdose deaths by taking action online through twitter and facebook. Sample messages below.
  • Twitter: We need @NYPDnews Commissioner Kelly to save lives by implementing NY’s 911 Good Samaritan law to prevent fatal overdose. #OD11
  • Facebook: Go to and add a comment about International Overdose Day and the 911 Good Samaritan law. Example: “Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. What are the NYPD’s plans for implementing the new 911 Good Samaritan law to prevent overdose deaths?”
Governor Cuomo signed bipartisan legislation in July that can help reduce overdose deaths by encouraging people to call 911 in they experience or witness an overdose. The new law provides limited protections from arrest


and prosecution for possessing or “sharing” small amounts of drugs or alcohol (for minors), but we need support from law enforcement to ensure effective implementation. Acknowledging concerns by some in law enforcement, Governo Cuomo wrote that “the benefit to be gained by the bill—saving lives—must be paramount.” New York was the fourth state (and largest) to enact such a law.

Letter to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly

Blog, Drug Policy

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