ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- With a growing heroin epidemic in Missouri, lawmakers are considering a law which would provide immunity for those who call 911 regarding a drug overdose.
"An average of 500 people a year die in the state of Missouri from an opiate overdose," said Chad Sabora, who is a recovering heroin addict and an anti-heroin advocate.
If passed, the 911 Good Samaritan Law would grant immunity for drug possession charges for a person who calls for emergency medical help for their self or others who overdosed on heroin or other eligible drugs.
Lawmakers do have reservations with the bill, especially that the public may see the bill as a free pass. It is important to consider the bill is not to protect drug dealers, but to save the lives of drug users.
"We can't stop them from running and leaving people to die, I wish we could," said Wentzville State Representative Bryan Spencer. "Our only real option is to say, let's take a minute, we're going to value human life over a simple arrest for possession."
Spencer is a proponent of the bill and hopes it will prevent people from dumping the body of an overdosed person at a hospital, or simply abandoned.
Illinois passed the law in 2012, joining more than 20 other states that have a version of the Good Samaritan law.