Drug overdose deaths have surpassed traffic fatalities in Washington State and 15 other states. This study will examine the legal intent, implementation and outcomes of a new Washington state law to support intervening in drug overdoses. The law includes a Good Samaritan component that provides legal immunity from drug possession charges for people who overdose or seek aid for another person’s overdose. It also allows the prescribing of an opioid antidote medicine (Naloxone) to drug users and their partners. Evaluation will be conducted on the development of the legislation and the impact of the law on Seattle area heroin users, bystanders, and police during overdoses as well as the impacts on community health outcomes.

The PHLR Program