On Sunday, June 29, Smith’s Olde Bar at 1578 Piedmont Avenue is hosting a music “benefest” to raise funds and awareness about overdose prevention in Georgia.
The event is also a celebration of the life of Buckhead resident Laura Hope Laws, who died at 17 from an accidental overdose in November of 2013. She would have turned 18 on June 27. Potentially, a medication called naloxone could have saved Laura’s life, if it had been available and legal for use by laypersons in Georgia.
Now, thanks to a law signed in April by Governor Nathan Deal, in situations like Laura’s, legal protection is provided to those who administer naloxone, an antidote that reverses an opioid overdose. Georgia is the 15th state in the union to enact a 911 Medical Amnesty law and the 19th state to expand access to naloxone through legislation. The new law also grants immunity from arrest and prosecution for people who are experiencing or to those who seek help for a drug overdose victim in the event that law enforcement find small amounts of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia as a result of the person seeking help.
“There is a Georgia law now that makes it possible for anyone to access naloxone and while the loss will be forever, maybe Laura Hope’s life can help save others,” said David Laws, Laura’s father and organizer of the fundraiser. “While looking for a support group that could help Jyll and me with the loss of our child, we came across Robin Elliott and the Georgia Overdose Prevention Group. That’s where we connected with other parents and their efforts to pass The 911 Medical Amnesty and Naloxone Access Law. Now that’s it passed, we have to put the law into action.”
The benefit show begins at 3:00 pm on Sunday and
features musical peformers including, “Laying Down the Law,” “Amanda
Hale and Friends,” “Swami After Dark Jam Hour”, “The Rainmen with
Special Guest Rick Richards of the world-famous Georgia
Satellites”, Mary Ellen Jones, Mike Veal among others. Catering is
being provided by Fox Brothers BBQ.
Donations accepted at the door; check for updates at: www.facebook.com/liveforlaws