Sunday, May 19, 2024
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Kennedy, Booker introduce bipartisan bill to help Americans get help for opioid overdoses

Submitted by United States Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana

WASHINGTON (Apr. 11, 2024) – Senator John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today along with Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the bipartisan Samaritan Efforts to Ensure Key Health Emergency and Life-saving Protections (SEEK HELP) Act to provide Americans with life-saving treatment during an opioid overdose.

“In 2022 alone, about 1,400 Louisianians lost their lives to opioid overdoses. The SEEK HELP Act would get more Americans the life-saving treatment they need when they fall victim to an opioid overdose, and the Senate should pass it immediately,” said Kennedy.

“The drug overdose crisis is ravaging communities across the nation, and far too many Americans have lost their lives as a tragic consequence. We can and must do more. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to help combat this crisis, protect those seeking to help others, and ultimately save more lives,” said Booker.

Sens. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) cosponsored the legislation.

The SEEK HELP Act would:

  • Create civil liability protections for individuals who administer an opioid reversal drug.
  • Offer criminal immunity to an individual who seeks medical help for someone experiencing an opioid overdose.
  • Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out a public awareness campaign about these liability protections to encourage more Americans to get medical assistance when experiencing a drug overdose.

The National District Attorneys Association, Americans for Prosperity, Association for Prosecuting Attorneys, Due Process Institute, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, R Street and Vera Institute support the bill.

“The SEEK HELP Act is a significant stride in our battle against the opioid epidemic. With its provision of legal protections during overdose situations and efforts to raise awareness of Good Samaritan Laws, this legislation not only saves lives but also strengthens trust between law enforcement and communities. Ultimately, the SEEK HELP Act enhances public safety and fosters healthier, more resilient communities,” said Nelson Bunn, Executive Director of the National District Attorneys Association.

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Full text of the SEEK HELP Act is available here.

News, press releases, press conferences, and opinions from Louisiana United States Senators, Louisiana United States House of Representatives District 3, Louisiana Governor, Louisiana State Senators from Districts 22 and 23, and Louisiana State Representatives from Districts 43 and 49.

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