In the past two years, 17 states have passed laws increasing access to the overdose antidote naloxone, bringing the total to 24. Most of the laws allow doctors to prescribe naloxone to friends and family members of a person who abuses opioids. The laws also remove legal liability for prescribers and for those who administer naloxone, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In addition, 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed “Good Samaritan” laws, which provide limited legal immunity for people who call for help for a person who is overdosing. These laws were passed in response to concerns that people who are present during an overdose may hesitate to call 911 because they fear legal consequences, according to overdose prevention expert Traci Green, a professor of emergency medicine at Brown University.