Commentary: Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Overdose Protection Laws Abound in State Legislatures

It is no secret that America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic resulting from the use of both pharmaceutical opioids and heroin. The scope of the epidemic is not clear, but the Centers for Disease Control estimates that opioid overdose deaths have surpassed motor vehicle accidents in annual fatalities, with approximately 44,000 drug overdose deaths each year.[1]

Increasingly, state lawmakers are recognizing the important role that naloxone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids in one’s body, can play in quelling the opioid crisis in the United States, and legislatures are enacting naloxone access laws at breakneck speed. Moreover, while there exist fewer Good Samaritan overdose protection laws which provide criminal immunity from arrest and prosecution on drug use or possession to those who call for medical assistance for someone who is overdosing, legislators are realizing that Good Samaritan laws are important if they want to encourage bystanders to call for emergency assistance in the event of an overdose.

Full story of naloxone access and overdosing at drugfree.org

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.