Unintentional drug overdose is now considered to be a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Overdose bystanders may not call for medical assistance for fear of being arrested for drug-related crimes. In response, some states have enacted "Good Samaritan" laws that create immunities or other legal protections for people who call for help in the event of an overdose. Some states have passed comprehensive Good Samaritan overdose prevention laws that provide broad protection. Other states have passed laws that consider seeking medical assistance for a person experiencing an overdose as an affirmative defense, or as a mitigating factor during sentencing.
This is a longitudinal dataset, displaying laws from January 1, 2007 to May 31, 2014. To explore these laws click the "Start here" button below.
PHLR-funded research:Preliminary findings: Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Law
Network for Public Health Law:Legal Interventions to Reduce Overdose Mortality: Naloxone Access and Overdose Good Samaritan Laws