Ohio county offers amnesty to witnesses of drug overdoses

Heroin epidemic. (WDTN Photo)
Heroin epidemic. (WDTN File Photo)

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — Officials in a southern Ohio county hope a new amnesty program will help curb drug overdose deaths.

The Overdose Amnesty Program offered by Ross County authorities last week applies to witnesses of drug overdoses who call for help.

The Chillicothe Gazette reports that callers can ask for amnesty on misdemeanor drug charges, but amnesty will not be given to drug traffickers.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental deaths in the state. Ross County is among the areas with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths when accounting for population and age.

So-called “Good Samaritan” laws are already in place in more than 30 other states, including Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Ohio lawmakers are considering a similar measure.

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