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Robin Elliot, a real estate agent in the Morning Side area of Atlanta, said she supported the cause after her 21 year old son, Zack, died of a heroin overdose May 1, 2011.
Smith supported the efforts of state Rep. Sharon Cooper (R east Cobb) to pass the Georgia 9 1 1 Medical Amnesty Law (HB 965), which was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal on April 24.
The part of the law allowing police to carry naloxone was added when Cooper said she heard from supporters the only thing police can do when they get to a scene is administer CPR.
If someone had called the police for help, Smith said, her daughter may have received medical treatment to keep her alive. But because the three people with her were scared to get caught with drugs, Smith said, they put Taylor's inhaler beside her and left. Taylor died of a drug induced asthma attack in September of 2013.
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space of a few months, Smith knew something was wrong.
Other mothers joined her at the Capitol, and they all found the best way to campaign was also the hardest.
"It occurred to me that the way to get this done was to be down there at the Capitol every day and hand out photos and tell (Stephen's) story, and that's what I did," Cardiges said.
Passing the law
Robin Cardiges, whose 20 year old son, Stephen, died Aug. 12, 2012, after an accidental heroin overdose, said she took off work as a systems engineer at DentFirst in Lawrenceville to help pass the law.
Smith brought the drug to Holly Springs police officers in June, and within a week, officers used it to save a 24 year old woman who had overdosed and was having seizures, she said.
"It was like every day being down there (at the Capitol) we'd rip the scab off and just start talking about our kids, and we'd go home that night and cry. The scab would grow back, and then we'd go back the next day and rip it off again," Elliot said.
Leef and Cooper weren't alone at the Georgia Capitol. A group of dedicated mothers who had lost children to drug overdoses campaigned to pass the bill.
Officers from both police departments said they rely on local fire departments, who carry the drug and arrive to an overdose case at about the same time police get there.
do is sit there and wait until the paramedics get there," Cooper said.
"(Naloxone) has to be kept between certain temperatures, and there are maintenance issues," Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn said.
"I would really like for more police forces to be able to carry it," Cooper said.
Cooper said she saw a need for the amnesty law when one of her interns, Justin Leef, gave her the idea. Leef, a law Nike Hoodies Just Do It student at Georgia State University, has had friends in college die from overdoses.
The law went into effect the day it was signed and allows anyone who calls police to help someone who is near death to be excused from drug charges. The bill also encourages police to carry a drug called naloxone, which counters the effects of opiate drugs and can revive someone who has overdosed.
"It makes me feel like Taylor did not die in vain that something good came out of her death," Smith said.
Details of the law
MARIETTA Tanya Smith, a retired Holly Springs police lieutenant, never thought her child would break the law.
But after watching her 20 year old daughter, Taylor, become thin and gaunt in the Nike Hoodie Sale Womens
Neither the Marietta, nor the Cobb police departments carry naloxone.
"We passed a bill that said if one person will stay with the person that's in severe physical distress and near death, and you'll call 911 and stay with them until they get there, you won't be prosecuted," Cooper said.
Taylor later told her mother she had become addicted to heroin, and after a few bouts of rehabilitation, had taken methamphetamine as a way to combat her cravings.
"Regardless of what you've gotten yourself into, you should know that law enforcement will be able to get you out of it," Smith said.
Her plan backfired when she had a bad reaction to the drug.
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Smith said she has since made it her mission to help police save more lives through a new law that relieves bystanders of the fear of being arrested on drug charges.
"She lay there in that room for hours, dying, while her friends tried to figure out what to do with her," Tanya Smith said.
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