In 2017, the Canadian government passed the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, a law meant to provide certain legal protections for people who witness an overdose in Canada and call 911 for emergency assistance.
Janet Butler-McPhee and Sandra Ka Hon Chu of the HIV Legal Network partnered with Emily van der Meulen at Ryerson University on a new research study with people who use drugs, looking at the Good Samaritan law and whether it is working as intended. You can find their preliminary research findings report, published in June 2020, here.
This comic illustrates one of their important findings: that while overdoses are a medical emergency, police are often attending overdose scenes – with negative consequences for people who use drugs – despite the fact that police presence has not been requested nor is it warranted.
(Click each image to enlarge)