You are visiting us from Virginia. You are located in HHS Region 3. Your Center is Central East ATTC.

ATTC Messenger March 2023: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Good Samaritan Laws

infograph image of united states in the color teal

ATTC Messenger March 2023 Featured Article

Overdose deaths have skyrocketed in recent years. People experiencing overdoses require immediate medical attention: any time wasted before reporting the emergency to 911 lowers their chances of survival. While as many as 85 percent of opioid overdoses occur in the presence of a bystander, fewer than half are reported. The purpose of 911 Good Samaritan Laws (GSLs, also called Overdose Bystander Laws), then, is to encourage bystanders to report overdoses as soon as possible by providing immunity for certain criminal consequences of substance use.

Texas adopted the latest GSL in 2021, bringing the total number of state GSLs to 48. Including the municipal GSL in the District of Columbia, 99 percent of United States residents may receive some form of immunity. (See Figure 2.) While policy scientists have not reached consensus, promising analyses suggest GSLs with strong protections save lives: specifically, laws offering protection from arrest, in conjunction with expanded naloxone access, predict a 10 percent reduction in opioid overdose deaths.

Read the full article by clicking on the 'View Resource' button above.

March 7, 2023
Developed by

Target Audience
External Link