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In 2017, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSDOA) was enacted, to encourage people to contact emergency medical services by providing bystanders at the scene of an overdose with legal protection for simple possession and conditions related to simple possession.
We identified limitations of the GSDOA at overdose events; key themes and concerns causing PWUD to hesitate to or avoid contacting emergency medical services included drug confiscation, the thin line between simple possession and drug trafficking, and enforcement of other charges and court ordered conditions that are not legally protected by the GSDOA. Moreover, participants discussed the GSDOA as inequitable; benefiting some while excluding PWUD with intersecting marginalized identities.