Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Evaluation of a Public Health Law to Support Intervening in Drug Overdose

This study aimed to examine the legal intent, implementation and outcomes of a new Washington state law to support intervening in drug overdoses. The law includes a “911 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 was 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.


Caleb Banta-Green, PhD, MPH, MSW PI (UW ADAI)
Patricia C. Kuszler, MD, JD Co-PI (UW Medicine)
Phillip Coffin, MD, MIA Co-Investigator (UCSF)

Fund Information

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
Grant #:
USD: $149,185
Start: November 15, 2010
End: May 14, 2012
Status: completed