Unintentional drug overdose is now considered to be a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Many overdoses can be reversed by immediate life-saving emergency care. 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.
This map examines which U.S. states have Good Samaritan laws, and outlines various characteristics of those laws, including how those laws protect citizens from controlled substance possession laws, alcohol related crime laws, drug paraphernalia laws, and probation and parole violations, as well as whether Good Samaritan laws are considered a mitigating factor in sentencing.
Please note, this dataset is now maintained by Legal Science, LLC, on the Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System at PDAPS.org. It was originally created by the staff at the Center for Public Health Law Research.