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This just in from Action Family Counseling

Santa Clarita 911 Good Samaritan Walk scheduled for Jan. 12

Posted: January 3, 2013 11:54 a.m.
Updated: January 3, 2013 11:54 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita, California – Action Family Counseling’s Santa Clarita Parent and Teen Support Group Program members will walk to educate the community Saturday, January 12, from 1 – 3 p.m. drawing attention to California’s new Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Law that went into effect January 1, 2013. The walk begins at City Hall located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard in Valencia. The community is encouraged to join the walk. Walk participants are asked to wear black shirts and t-shirts and design posters that stress the importance of supporting the new law designed to save lives. For more information about joining the walk one may call Krissy McAfee at (661) 904-2249.

California’s new law encourages witnesses at the scene of a suspected drug or alcohol overdose to seek emergency assistance right away without fear of arrest for minor drug law violations. The law, commonly referred to in other states as the “911 Good Samaritan Law,” was introduced by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and passed in 2012. California becomes the tenth state to pass a law encouraging people to call 911 for help for suspected overdose victims.

“Reassuring Californians that calling 911 is safe and the right thing to do when someone’s life is in danger is of the utmost importance. Individuals with the overdose suffer, will typically fail to call and get help because they are afraid of getting arrested for drug possession,” said Krissy McAfee, Action Parent and Teen Support Group volunteer and walk organizer. “My life and the lives of my family were forever changed when in March 2010, my son Daniel Trae Allen died of a heroin overdose in the driveway of our Santa Clarita home after someone dropped him off instead of seeking medical attention for him. Not a day goes by that I wonder if someone had just made that 911 call, if my son would still be alive today.”

According to Cary Quashen, founder and president of Action Parent and Teen Support Group Programs and Action Family Counseling Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs,California is among the many states where drug overdose fatalities are the number one cause of accidental injury-related deaths, surpassing even motor vehicle deaths.

“Most people are unaware that someone dies of a drug overdose every 19 minutes here in the U.S.,” said Quashen, “Figures released by the Center for Disease Control and the National Center for Health Services show 40,000 lives are being lost annually to overdoses, primarily the result of heroin and prescription opiates. These studies also indicate that those who have overdosed, do so in the presence of others.”

Quashen when on to say there were 19-drug overdose deaths in Santa Clarita in 2012, and after legal investigations it was determined that many of those dying were with others at the time of their deaths.

“Just imagine how many lives could have been saved with a 911 call to emergency services,” Quashen said. “It was that fear of legal prosecution that was the obstacle in seeking medical care for someone who was dying. I want to make it very clear that we should never disregard the seriousness of illegal drug use, however a drug overdose should never become a death penalty out of fear.”

According to McAfee this is the first of many events Action will sponsor to educate the SCV and surrounding communities about the 911 Good Samaritan Law.

“That’s why we are asking the public to join us on Saturday, January 12, 1 – 3 p.m. at City Hall located at located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard in Valencia. The question becomes would you let a friend die if you could do something about it?”

For more information or to join the walk one may call Krissy McAfee at (661) 904-2249. Walk participants are asked to wear black shirts and t-shirts and design posters that stress the importance of supporting the new law designed to save lives,as well honor those who lives have been lost from drug overdoses.

 

 

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