NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Joshua G. Latshaw

San Diego State University
Department of Economics
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4485

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2017With a Little Help from My Friends: The Effects of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Laws on Opioid-Related Deaths
with Daniel I. Rees, Joseph J. Sabia, Laura M. Argys, Dhaval Dave: w23171
In an effort to address the opioid epidemic, a majority of states have recently passed some version of a Naloxone Access Law (NAL) and/or a Good Samaritan Law (GSL). NALs allow lay persons to administer naloxone, which temporarily counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose; GSLs provide immunity from prosecution for drug possession to anyone who seeks medical assistance in the event of a drug overdose. This study is the first to examine the effect of these laws on opioid-related deaths. Using data from the National Vital Statistics System multiple cause-of-death mortality files for the period 1999-2014, we find that the adoption of a NAL is associated with a 9 to 11 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths. The estimated effect of GLSs on opioid-related deaths is of comparable mag...
 
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