- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - As part of the state’s effort to address the ongoing drug abuse problem, Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a bill that will spare people from criminal prosecution in certain cases if they are reporting a drug overdose.

Hassan is calling the state’s rising rate of heroin and opioid overdoses “one of the most pressing public health and safety challenges” facing New Hampshire.

Under the bill, anyone who seeks emergency medical assistance for themselves or someone else experiencing an overdose cannot be arrested or prosecuted for possession of an illegal drug. The bill is intended to encourage more people to report overdoses and potentially save lives.

The immunity bill as written will be repealed in 2018.

Hassan also signed a bill this year expanding access to naloxone, an opioid blocker.

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