Center for Interventions, Treatment, and Addictions Research (CITAR)

Exploring Stigma in the Overdose-Justice Nexus: A Mixed-Methods Study of Good Samaritan Laws in Two Overdose Epicenters

Co-PIs: Tasha Perdue (Ohio State University), Sydney Silverstein, Russell Hassan (Ohio State University)

Funded by Ohio State University’s Addiction Innovation Initiative Seed Grant

Good Samaritan Laws (GSLs) extend protections to individuals calling for overdose assistance to facilitate overdose interventions while reducing overdose fatalities. Yet how these policies are enacted and experienced remains poorly understood. Columbus and Dayton are ideal locations to understand the intricacies of the implementation of GSLs in Ohio. While these locations are similar in relation to overdose mortality, the community-level responses involving law enforcement are markedly different, providing a unique opportunity to better understand how perceptions and experience of stigma through interactions with law enforcement influence individuals’ willingness to call for emergency assistance, as well as the character of overdose response. The proposed study is innovative in the focus on understanding knowledge of GSLs among people who use illicit opioids (PWUIO) and law

enforcement officers (LEO) while also exploring how socio-demographic characteristics and

perceptions of stigma among both groups influence overdose response outcomes. This project draws on the combined experience of an interdisciplinary research team from The Ohio State University and Wright State University, as well as ongoing partnerships between members of the research team and local public health departments. The key domains of the mixed-methods investigation include PWUIO and LEOs’: 1) knowledge of GSLs; 2) training and capacitation regarding overdose response and GSLs; 3) perceptions of overdose prevention strategies and bridges to care/support; 4) experiences responding to and personal experience with overdose; and 5) perceptions of stigma (enacted, anticipated, experienced, internalized) and how the perceptions differ by individual gender, race, and socioeconomic status in encounters between PWUIO and LEO.

Last edited on 10/21/2021.