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Unintentional drug overdose is 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 July 1, 2016. 



Subject Matter Expert

Corey Davis, JD MSPH

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24 states have laws that protect Good Samaritans from prosecution for possession of drug paraphernalia. 

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Map Legend: State Included in research.

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