SSN Commentary

Maine Needs To Expand Its ‘Good Samaritan’ Law To Help Prevent Overdose Deaths

Policy field

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Originally published as "Maine Needs to Expand It's 'Good Samaritan' Law To Help Prevent Overdose Deaths," Bangor Daily News, January 11, 2022.


More than 500 people died last year of overdose in Maine, but many hundreds more were saved when people intervened — either by administering Narcan or calling for help. During our ongoing overdose crisis, we have to do all we can to make sure people feel empowered to call for medical assistance when they or someone they’re with is experiencing an overdose. But often those closest to overdose are afraid to make the call.

Most drug overdose deaths are preventable. Access to timely medical assistance is critical. The issue is that the laws in Maine ask people who use drugs to make a very difficult choice: call for medical help and risk serious, life-altering consequences or not seek medical assistance.