Statewide campaign urges bystanders to call 911 when they see an overdose

Four Massachusetts residents die each day from a drug-related overdose

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is teaming up with Attorney General Maura Healey to launch the “Make the Right Call” campaign, in an effort to prevent drug overdose deaths.

“Make the Right Call targets active users of opioids and bystanders, including their friends and families with the simple message that they shouldn’t be afraid to seek help when they see an overdose,” said Governor Baker.

Four Massachusetts residents die every day from a heroin or prescription drug overdose, which could have been prevented with just one call. Many drug abusers and bystanders hesitate to dial 9-1-1 because they are afraid they could be arrested.

“I’ve overdosed multiple times and family and friends have called 9-1-1 so the first responders could revive me, but I’ve also had people run away because they were scared,” said Caitrin Houlihan, a recovering drug addict.

The campaign will utilize billboards and print advertising to highlight the state’s Good Samaritan law, which protects people who help someone in need of medical attention.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said, “If you do call 9-1-1 to save that person’s life, you will not be prosecuted for drug use or possession.”

The campaign tells bystanders to call 9-1-1 when they see an overdose, and stay with the victim until first responders arrive. It will also teach people where to find the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, and how to use it.

The “Make the Right Call” campaign will cost the state about $250,000.

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