FARGO — Calling the police during a drug overdose can potentially save a life.
On Tuesday, June 11, two girls were hospitalized after it's believed they smoked marijuana believed to be tainted with . On Wednesday, one of them had been released from the hospital while the other was still being treated.
Moorhead police said they want to remind the public that it's okay to call them in emergency situations, even if you've been doing drugs, as Minnesota and North Dakota Good Samaritan laws offer protection from getting in legal trouble for possession, sharing or use of a controlled substance when a person is seeking medical treatment for an overdose.
However, in order to be protected callers need to follow certain steps.
First, call 911 promptly, then give the dispatcher your name and any details about the drug use. Next, the caller must stay with the person potentially overdosing until help arrives and finally be cooperative with any first responders who come to help.
"They don't want to go to jail, but their buddy lying next to them is possibly dying. So, again we want to make sure that people focus on the value of life over prosecution of somebody with a drug offense," said Moorhead Police Capt. and spokesman Deric Swenson.
The same Good Samaritan rules also apply for minors drinking alcohol underage, police said.
To get Good Samaritan immunity in both North Dakota and Minnesota, a person must be acting in "good faith" in seeking medical assistance
Immunity does not apply in situations where an arrest or search warrant is being carried out.