When I was in college, we had a rule that protected minors from getting in trouble if they sought help for a classmate who was too intoxicated. Essentially, regardless of the fact that they were underage, students would not face disciplinary or legal consequences from drinking (or drugs) if they sought medical attention to help out a friend. It was a great safety net to have, as it discouraged kids from being stupid and trying to deal with a situation that they were in no way capable of fixing. It saved students from pointless disciplinary meeting and it saved their parents from ridiculous fines, but most importantly, it saved the lives of those who needed help. So, imagine my surprise to hear that not every school has this rule. More shockingly, and more dangerously, even, is that not every state has this rule. Luckily, I’m not alone in my dismay over this news.
The Medical Amnesty Initiative, a non-profit organization from Michigan, is currently trying to make this happen nationwide. The group is pushing for every state to put into action a bill that would prevent minors from getting into legal trouble when helping out a friend in need. The group’s mission states:
“We are dedicated to the introduction, passage, and education of Medical Amnesty legislation throughout the United States. Our hope is for a future where young people are no longer afraid to dial 911 for help in a life or death situation.”
To find out if such a law exists in your state, click here. To help out with this life-saving cause, contact your legislator and get involved. Be smart. Drink responsibly. Ask for help when you need it. Stay safe out there, kiddos.