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Table 3 Knowledge of the GSDOA among people at risk of witnessing an overdose

From: Awareness and knowledge of the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act among people at risk of witnessing an overdose in British Columbia, Canada: a multi-methods cross sectional study



No/Don’t known (%)

Yesn (%)

Prefer not to say/Missingn (%)

Do you believe the GSDOA protects the following people from being arrested for simple possession of substances (small amount of drugs for own use) at the scene of an overdose?b

  (A) The person who calls 9–1-1

80 (33.5)

144 (60.3)

15 (6.3)

  (B) The person who overdoses

87 (36.4)

129 (54.0)

23 (9.6)

  (C) Anyone at the scene of an overdose

89 (37.2)

132 (55.2)

18 (7.5)

Imagine there is an overdose in a public space; 9–1-1 is called and the police come to the scene. Do you think the police can legally arrest a person if they:b

  (A) Have a larger amount of drugs on them or items (eg. A scale) that may look like they are involved in drug dealing?

105 (43.9)

120 (50.2)

14 (5.9)

  (B) Are in a red/no-go zone they received for a previous charge that was not simple drug possession (eg. theft)?

134 (56.1)

92 (38.5)

13 (5.4)

  (C) Have an outstanding warrant for something other than simple drug possession (eg. theft)?

107 (44.8)

121 (50.6)

11 (4.6)

  1. aQuestions were only asked to respondent who reported previous awareness of the GSDOA (n = 239)
  2. bThe correct answer to the outlined questions is “Yes”