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Could overdose survivors face misdemeanors? Ohio cities change policies

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 17:24:29-05

Changes could be coming to the way the heroin epidemic is policed in Ohio.

Those who call 911 for an overdose are protected by Good Samaritan laws, but some cities are now citing the person who police revive from an overdose.

In Fayette County, between Columbus and Cincinnati, police are citing every person they revive with Naloxone with a misdemeanor, typically punishable by jail time and a fine.

Reportedly, one of the main reasons they're citing is for tracking purposes, so police can track their overdose calls - something several departments are struggling with.

"The tracking that's taking place right now? Through the coroner's office, where someone overdosed and died," Chief Kevin Nietert, with South Euclid Police, said. 

Chief Nietert told News 5 they're not doing what law enforcement is Fayette County is. 

"We're not charging," explaining that he believes it's really up to each individual department and case. Plus, Ohio's Good Samaritan law can protect addicts too. 

"People can use, overdose, have police come out, revive them and just do that all over again with several departments and never face any charges?" "Correct."

If there's a large quantity of the drug, Chief Nietert said they charge felony possession. 

Find more information on Ohio's Good Samaritan law here