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Law Enforcement

Law enforcement are front-line overdose responders.

In an effort to reduce overdose deaths, many law enforcement agencies are training their officers how to recognize an opioid overdose and to administer naloxone, the medication to reverse an opioid overdose.

In WA State, licensed physicians can prescribe and dispense naloxone to law enforcement agencies. In addition, WA State has a statewide standing order that allows pharmacies to directly dispense naloxone to individuals and organizations. Law enforcement agencies and their officers acting in good faith and with reasonable care are immune from criminal and civil liability for possessing, storing, distributing, or administering naloxone.

The majority of law enforcement organizations in Washington now carry naloxone.

General information and tools

These are useful resources for law enforcement administrators who are considering or implementing naloxone programs for their officers.

Sample protocols

PDF icon Port Angeles Police Department

PDF icon Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office

Naloxone and overdose response training for law enforcement

Washington State Law Enforcement Overdose Response and Naloxone Training
PDF icon  Trainer Guide   |  PowerPoint icon  Training Slides

Other training materials

PDF icon Seattle Police Department Officer Training Presentation on naloxone and the Good Samaritan law

PDF iconOpioid Overdose and Naloxone Training Guide for Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement Training Video from NARCAN® Nasal Spray

Screenshot of Seattle Police Good Samaritan Law video: click to video
Seattle Police Department Training Video
 on the Good Samaritan Overdose Laws and naloxone.



WA State laws

  • RCW 4.24.300  Immunity from liability for certain types of medical care (general public)
  • RCW 69.41.095 “Naloxone Law” – distribution, possession and administration of naloxone among laypersons, first responder/law enforcement immunity
  • RCW 69.50.315  “Good Samaritan Overdose Law” – immunity from drug possession prosecution in drug-related overdoses

Law enforcement units in WA State and around the country are deploying new approaches to address the opioid crisis and help people exit the cycle of addiction, criminal activity, and overdose. These approaches include partnerships with drug treatment, housing, and other social service providers to provide more comprehensive crisis intervention, facilitate entry into drug treatment, and provide social services following an overdose.

Below are some examples of program models being implemented by law enforcement in Washington and other states.

Snohomish County Office of Neighborhoods embeds social workers with law enforcement for homeless outreach.

Everett Police Community Outreach and Enforcement Team works with community partners on addiction outreach and service referrals as alternatives to arrest and incarceration (part of the national PAARI model).

King County Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a pre-booking diversion pilot program that allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services, instead of jail and prosecution.

Police-Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is a model of police-community partnerships for outreach, education, and connections to social service support. Several WA State law enforcement units are part of the national PAARI network.

Colerain, OH Quick Response Teams team up police, paramedics and addiction counselors to provide medical response, crisis intervention and referrals for drug treatment and other social services at or shortly after an overdose.