Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Jia Gao


Opioid, Naloxone, third-party prescription, non-patient specific prescription, Good Samaritan law, Opioid mortality, Opioid admissions, PDMP, state-year effects


Opioids, both prescription painkillers and illegal drugs, were responsible for over 33,000 deaths in the United States during 2015. Naloxone treatment to combat opioid overdoses has been used in hospital settings for decades, and during recent years legislation has expanded training and distribution to first aid responders and high risk groups. Several studies have projected the efficacy of community-based opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs) and prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), but few have examined state naloxone access policies. This paper investigates the impact of three state policies – non-patient specific prescriptions, third-party prescriptions, and layperson legal immunity when administering naloxone – on reducing opioid related mortality and treatment admissions. Data is collected from the National Center for Health Statistics, SAMHSA, the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), Legal Science database, and the Behavior Risk Surveillance System. A difference-in-difference method has been adopted. I find that from 1999 until 2017, naloxone access policies, especially non-patient specific prescriptions, have increased opioid mortality and admissions. Issues of moral hazard and policy endogeneity indicate that these results may not be reliable.