LISTEN: The creators of Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law are celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The law encourages drug users to call for help when someone is experiencing an opioid overdose. GPB’s Ellen Eldridge reports.

Narcan (naloxone) will stop an opioid overdose. That’s why harm reduction advocates want people who use drugs to carry Narcan nasal spray.

And call for help in the event of an overdose.

Georgia Overdose Prevention created and were instrumental in the passage of Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty and Naloxone Access Law in 2014, Director Andy Gish said.

The lifesaving nasal spray is available free throughout the state and online through a partnership with the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC), and the medical amnesty law allows people protections if they're witnessing an overdose.

"They can call for help and not be worried about getting prosecuted for personal use, amount of drugs or paraphernalia," Gish said. "In the past what I would see, as an ER nurse, is that one person would go to the hospital and the other person would go to jail. And it made people really scared to call for help."

That's really changed over the past 10 years, during which time 10,000 reported opioid overdoses were reversed in Georgia.

"Of course, we know many people are not reporting to us, so those are just the people that are reported to us," she said. "But, you know, the true heroes of the story are those people who are maybe newly in recovery, or in recovery, or people who are currently out there using drugs, who are saving their friends."

Gish said Georgia Overdose Prevention volunteers have trained more than 65,000 lay people how to use Narcan.