Governor Pritzker Signs Alex’s Law
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed House Bill 3445, known as Alex’s Law, to encourage people witnessing a drug overdose to call 911.
Alex’s Law protects people who seek emergency assistance for a person experiencing symptoms of an opioid overdose. They will not be arrested for any crime related to the use of drugs at the scene for calling 911 for help.
The law comes after the death of a 25-year-old Naperville resident, Alex Green, who died of a fentanyl overdose. Green had been with friends at the time of the overdose, but no one called 911 out of fear of getting in trouble.
The law was sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville). “Saving lives has to be our first priority,” Ellman said. “Fear of criminal charges should never prevent someone from seeking help.”
“Had an unknown person who was on hand accompanied Alex into a public business and alerted staff that his friend was overdosing, proper 911 calls may have been made,” said Bill Green, Alex’s father and the original proponent of the legislation. “Friends, strangers and passersby need to know that it’s always safe to help someone in distress, so they may see those they love at least one more day.”
Ellman, Green, and other proponents hope that Alex’s law will lead to more people contacting 911 when others around them suffer an opioid overdose, potentially saving lives.
House Bill 3445 passed the Senate with a 40-16 vote.