Medical Amnesty Policies: Ithaca College and Statewide


The Ithaca College Medical Amnesty Policy (MAP) is intended to encourage students to seek medical assistance related to drug and alcohol use without worrying about college judicial consequences. The policy was created and is endorsed by Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Student Government Association (SGA), Residential Life and Judicial Affairs, and the Offices of Public Safety, Counseling & Wellness, and Student Affairs and Campus Life.

The student who receives medical assistance - and the student who summoned help - will not be sanctioned through the college judicial system, if the following apply:

  • The student or a friend of the student calls to request medical assistance.
  • The case has been approved for amnesty by the Office of Judicial Affairs.
  • No other conduct violations (such as disorderly conduct) were committed by the student during the same incident.
  • The student completes a required educational follow-up in a timely manner.

For more information on the MAP, contact the Office of Judicial Affairs at (607) 274-3375.

New York State 911 Good Samaritan Law

On July 20, 2011, Governor Cuomo signed a “Good Samaritan” law, designed to encourage individuals to call 911 for help in an alcohol or other drug emergency. The law is supported by the Tompkins County District Attorney and the City of Ithaca. It is especially beneficial to IC students living off campus, as it applies statewide, whereas IC's Medical Amnesty Policy (IC MAP) only applies on campus. NYS amnesty should result in more IC students calling for help in off-campus locations.

There are approximately 75,000 alcohol-associated deaths per year in the U.S.; and unintentional drug overdose deaths are increasing at an alarming rate (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-CDC). Most accidental drug or alcohol overdose deaths are preventable if emergency services are contacted immediately.

The primary reason people do not call 911 in the event of an overdose is fear of getting arrested. The new law protects people (those who witness an overdose, those who suffer one, and those who call 911) from being arrested, charged, or prosecuted for drug or paraphernalia possession or under-age alcohol possession. The new law does not protect against arrest, charge, or prosecution for other offenses, such as drug trafficking.

How To Handle Medical Emergencies Involving Alcohol or Other Drugs

Call for help when:

• Someone cannot be roused with shouting or vigorous shaking or cannot be roused for more
than 2-3 minutes at a time. Passing out IS an alcohol emergency.

• Someone vomits while being passed out, does not wake up after vomiting, or is incoherent while vomiting.

• Breathing is irregular or slow, or there is a lapse in breathing.

• Pulse is weak, very rapid, or very slow.

• Skin is cold, clammy, or bluish.

• You have ANY concerns regarding a person’s safety.

What to do:
• Keep the person awake – Do not let them
"sleep it off."

• Stay with the person until help arrives.

• Turn the person on his/her side to prevent
choking if the person vomits.

• Be prepared to give the emergency medical
personnel as much information as possible,
including any drugs or medications taken.

What NOT to do:

• Do not leave the person alone. The alcohol

may take some time to be absorbed before
peak levels are reached in the brain.

• Do not leave the person lying on their back.

• Do not try to give the person anything to
eat or drink.

• Do not put the person in a cold shower
They could fall or pass out from the shock.