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With a Little Help from My Friends: The Effects of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Laws on Opioid-Related Deaths

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel I. Rees
  • Joseph J. Sabia
  • Laura M. Argys
  • Joshua Latshaw
  • Dhaval Dave

Abstract

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 magnitude, but not statistically significant at conventional levels. Finally, we find that neither NALs nor GSLs increase the recreational use of prescription painkillers.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel I. Rees & Joseph J. Sabia & Laura M. Argys & Joshua Latshaw & Dhaval Dave, 2017. "With a Little Help from My Friends: The Effects of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Laws on Opioid-Related Deaths," NBER Working Papers 23171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23171
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abby Alpert & David Powell & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2017. "Supply-Side Drug Policy in the Presence of Substitutes: Evidence from the Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids," NBER Working Papers 23031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David Card & Gordon B. Dahl, 2011. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 103-143.
    3. repec:wly:hlthec:v:26:y:2017:i:1:p:6-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Abby Alpert & David Powell & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2017. "Supply-Side Drug Policy in the Presence of Substitutes Evidence from the Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids," Working Papers WR-1181, RAND Corporation.
    5. Cameron, A Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1986. "Econometric Models Based on Count Data: Comparisons and Applications of Some Estimators and Tests," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 29-53, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Hollingsworth & Christopher J. Ruhm & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse," NBER Working Papers 23192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Doleac, Jennifer & Mukherjee, Anita, 2018. "The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 11489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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