Good Samaritan Fatal Overdose Prevention and Drug-induced Homicide: Summary of State Laws
Research indicates that there is often a reluctance among those witnessing an overdose to summon emergency assistance from law enforcement or other first responders out of fear of arrest for drug possession or other charges. In an effort to reduce this fear and to encourage overdose witnesses to seek help, state policymakers developed Good Samaritan laws specific to drug overdoses. The purpose of these laws is to prioritize the overdose victim’s safety over arresting drug users by granting limited protection from criminal liability to persons seeking medical assistance and, in most cases, to the overdose victim.
The Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) recently undertook an extensive research project to determine the current status of Good Samaritan fatal overdose prevention laws throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories. Click here to read the full Summary.