A campaign has been launched in North Yorkshire to raise awareness of how emergency health services respond to drug overdose calls.
Across the county, there is an agreement that they will respond to such calls without routinely notifying the police unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Det Insp Allan Harder, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Any delay in calling for medical assistance can mean the difference between life and death. I would like to reassure drug users and their friends and families that the police will only attend if the incident is deemed suspicious or ambulance crews require our support.
”There have been deaths through drug overdoses across North Yorkshire that might have been prevented had an ambulance been called earlier. By promoting this 999 protocol, we hope that people will do the responsible thing and call an ambulance if they think someone may be experiencing an overdose – it might save their life.”
The protocol was agreed in 2007, prior to which the ambulance service would often call police to drug overdose incidents.