Evaluation of Washington Good Samaritan Law

What is the Impact of Washington State’s 911 Good Samaritan Law?

Researchers at the University of Washington evaluated the “911 Good Samaritan Law” over its first year of implementation in Seattle to look at the law’s legal intent, implementation, and outcomes in a study supported by the Public Health Law Research Program, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  This is the first evaluation of this type of law in the United States.

Changes in the behavior of drug users, police, and paramedics during heroin overdoses were reviewed; the legal intent of the law was examined through document reviews and interviews with legislators and other stakeholders.

Among the outcomes examined are changes in the rates of opioid overdose (fatal and non-fatal); 911 overdose call volume and severity; and naloxone administration by lay persons and medical professionals.

The first item is a brief report on the initial evaluation. Additional resources will be posted noted as they become available.

PDF iconWashington’s 911 Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Law: Initial Evaluation Results, November 2011. Banta-Green CJ, Kuszler PC, Coffin PO, Schoeppe JA (Univ. of Washington)

Police officers’ and paramedics’ experiences with overdose and their knowledge and opinions of Washington State’s Drug Overdose-Naloxone-Good Samaritan Law. Banta-Green CJ, Beletsky L, Schoeppe JA, Coffin PO, Kuszler PC. Urban Health (in press 2013) (Abstract)

white houseGood Samaritan Overdose Response Laws: Lessons Learned from Washington State (Office of National Drug Control Policy, The White House). Banta-Green CJ, March 29, 2013.

PDF iconSummary of Current Overdose Good Samaritan Laws in the United States
Prepared by the Network for Public Health Law

PDFDrug Overdoses in Washington: Police Officers’ Experiences and the 2010 Good Samaritan Overdose Law. Banta-Green CJ, NW HIDTA Intelligence Bulletin, Feb 2013.

Steps for Implementing an Overdose Good Samaritan Law: The Example of Seattle, Washington (Caleb Banta-Green, Sept. 2013)


Caleb Banta-Green, PhD, MPH, MSW
Project Director
UW Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute
Phone: (206) 685-3919