Good Samaritan Law

Nearly 19,000 overdose deaths in 2014 were attributed to prescription pain relievers, and more than 10,000 overdose deaths were attributed to heroin in the same year. Nevada ranks second in the country for units prescribed per 100,000 patients for hydrocodone and oxycodone. Many overdose deaths occur in the presence of others and can be prevented.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act of 2015 (Senate Bill 459, Chapter 26, Statutes of Nevada 2015 NRS 453C.120) created various provisions addressing the opiate overdose epidemic that continues to claim over 300 lives per year in Nevada. The law prevents punitive actions against health professionals and any person who administers naloxone or calls 911 to assist someone who may be overdosing on opiates. It also provides immunity to persons seeking medical treatment for an opioid overdose for themselves or someone else.

In addition, the law allows greater access to naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug. Naloxone is available at area pharmacies and can be obtained without a prescription. Costs vary depending on the version of the medication (nasal, auto-injector, or syringe). Family members and friends of those who use prescription pain narcotics or illegal narcotics are now able to obtain the drug and have it available in case of an accidental overdose.

You can find the Nevada Revised Statute here.


SB 459 provides immunity to individuals who, acting in good faith and with reasonable care, administer an opioid antagonist to someone experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. Good Samaritan immunity is provided to individuals who seek medical help for others, themselves, or are the subject of the help request.

The Act applies when individuals who report an overdose or other medical emergency to law enforcement, 911, or a provider of emergency medical services; assist another individual making a report; provide care to someone experiencing an overdose or medical emergency while waiting for medical assistance; or deliver an individual experiencing an overdose or medical emergency to a medical facility.

The Act provides immunity for those who have acted in good faith from the use of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of a restraining order, violation of a condition of your parole or probation, or possession of narcotics with the exception GHB or Rohypnol without a prescription, possession with the intent to sell, more than 12 marijuana plants, or more than 200 grams of a Schedule II controlled substance.

Nevada’s Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides immunity to health care professionals who prescribe and dispense either directly or by standing order Naloxone or another opioid antagonist during treatment for a legitimate medical condition:

  • An individual identified as at risk of experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose; or
  • A family member, friend or other person in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose.

The Act provides immunity for law enforcement officers, EMTs and paramedics who administer an opioid antagonist to someone that they reasonably believe to be experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose.

SB 459 also requires first-time prescribing physicians or when a new course of treatment begins to obtain a patient utilization report from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP) before they initiate a prescription for a controlled schedule II, III, or IV prescription drug.