"Ninety-three percent of police respondents had attended a serious opioid overdose (defined in the survey) in their career, with 64 % having attended one in the past year. While 77 % of officers felt it was important they were at the scene of an overdose to protect medical personnel, a minority, 34 %, indicated it was important they were present for the purpose of enforcing laws. Arrest during the last overdose officers encountered was rare, with only 1 % of overdose victims and 1 % of bystanders being arrested. In cases in which no arrest was made, 25 % reported confiscating drugs or paraphernalia.

"The majority, 62 %, indicated the law would not change their behavior at a future overdose because they would not have arrested anyone at the scene of an overdose anyway. Smaller proportions indicated they would be less likely to arrest (14 %), did not know what they would do (20 %), or would continue to arrest people at the scene of an overdose (4 %)."


Banta-Green C J, Beletsky L, Schoeppe JA, Coffin PO, Kuszler PC. Police officers’ and paramedics' experiences with overdose and their knowledge and opinions of Washington State's drug overdose-naloxone-Good Samaritan law. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. 2013;90(6):1102-;11.