Omaha drug charges lawyer Daniel Stockmann typically advises clients to say the least amount possible to law enforcement; the bare minimum necessary to be cooperative, yet not give them anything to work with or use against you. That said, there is one time you absolutely should speak up about drug use, and that moment occurs when you believe either yourself or someone you know has overdosed.
First Responders Can Save a Life
Recently, KLKN TV covered a story about how Nebraska law enforcement agents are all carrying Narcan. “There’s several instances where we arrive on scene before medics do and those minutes can be crucial when someone is suffering from an opioid overdose,” says officer Christopher Smith who has been with the Omaha Police Department since 2015. Officers are instructed to carry Narcan, the brand name for naloxone, in their vests to ensure it’s close at hand if they ever need it. The nasal spray can be given in the event of an opioid overdose. Normally, when a person overdoses on opioids, be it prescription medications or a street drug like heroin, the part of the brain responsible for reflexive breathing stops sending the message. Respiration can slow to dangerous levels or stop entirely. When Narcan is given, it blocks the effects of opioids and reverses the overdose. The individual will still require medical treatment, but it can literally save their life.
Nebraska Law Enforcement is Using Narcan
“It first came on as an overdose,” says Omaha Police Officer Andrew Ray of the call he went on just a couple months ago. “And so we really didn’t know if it was drugs or alcohol. And as we were on our way to the house, it was further updated that the suspect had overdosed on heroin.” The officer says that when they arrived on the scene, the individual had a faint pulse, but was barely breathing and was blue in color; all consistent signs of an opioid overdose. “That was the first time I ever used Narcan,” he explained, “and it worked in this case.” A state trooper near Broken Bow also used Narcan to revive a suicidal individual who overdosed in June. Agents report they’ve had to administer the drug dozens of times in recent years, though the frequency in which it’s needed has been growing.
This is the Same Medication Administered to Demi Lovato
Many may be familiar with Narcan after hearing of Demi Lovato’s July hospitalization. Although the exact details of the situation may never be known, the “Sober” singer has been open about her past struggles with opioid abuse and recovery. It has been reported that she suffered a relapse and was getting back into the partying lifestyle, which worried friends enough that they picked up Narcan to have on hand and administered it when they believed she overdosed. The medication is available by prescription, meaning virtually anyone can have it on hand. However, follow-up with a medical team is still essential even after the immediate crisis has passed.
Speak Up if You Believe Someone is Having an Overdose
Sometimes people worry about getting drug charges for calling in an overdose, wasting precious time that could ultimately cost a victim his or her life. It may be comforting to know that charges are rarely pressed. Officers at Lovato’s home initially reported that it was a medical emergency, not a criminal investigation, and because of this, no evidence was gathered and no charges would be pressed. Later reports are inconclusive. Some say officers found no drugs on the scene, while others say questionable items such as paraphernalia was found, but no charges will be pressed.
In any case, it’s important to report overdoses and give the medical team something to go on. For example, you can safely say, “I think there’s a chance this is a heroin overdose,” without giving details which may implicate yourself or the individual. Generally speaking, once a medical team knows what substance could be responsible for someone’s situation, they can perform quick diagnostic tests and begin lifesaving treatment with that information alone. Beyond that, it’s best not to share much other information from a legal standpoint, and once the immediate crisis is over, you’ll want to contact an attorney before you give a statement (verbal or written) to anyone.
Retain an Omaha Drug Charges Lawyer
Unfortunately, overdose deaths are growing at a staggering rate. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe someone is having an overdose, please make sure they get the emergency medical help they need before taking any other action. Even if there is concerning evidence at the scene and even if law enforcement chooses to pursue something as a criminal matter, it can get sorted out later. In fact, helping people overcome their legal issues is what Omaha drug charges lawyer Daniel Stockmann has dedicated his whole practice to, and he has an amazing track record that shows his clients beat the odds time and time again. If you’d like to meet with Mr. Stockmann for a free case evaluation, complete the form on this page or call (844) 906-0641 now.