Missouri House passes bill giving immunity for overdose help

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri House has passed a bill granting legal immunity for people with small amounts of drugs seeking medical assistance for overdoses.

House members voted 134-21 Monday to send it to the Senate. It says that people can’t be penalized for seeking medical assistance for overdoses if they possess small amounts of drugs or are in violation of probation, parole or a restraining order.

Supporters say it will combat the opioid epidemic and save lives by encouraging people to seek medical help for themselves or others.

Lawmakers told stories of people who didn’t seek help for others who were overdosing for fear of getting in trouble for drug possession.

Opponents say it won’t solve the problem because people won’t be forced to seek treatment through avenues such as drug court.

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