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Harm Reduction Laws in the United States

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2024
101 pages

This article provides the results of a 50-state survey on harm reduction laws related to drugs and drug use in the United States.


This publication provides information about a 50-state survey on harm reduction in the United States pertaining to state laws that can either increase or reduce harms related to drugs and drug use. This document is designed to reduce this information gap and help individuals and organizations better understand how the legal landscape in their state may impact access to harm reduction services and supplies and emergency medical assistance in an overdose. Specifically, this document includes detailed information regarding laws related to the possession and distribution of injection and smoking equipment, drug checking equipment, naloxone access, statewide naloxone standing orders, and overdose Good Samaritan overdose protections in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For each state, each area of law is briefly explained in plain language. The relevant citation is also listed, together with a hyperlink that will take the reader to the text of the law. All information is current as of August 1, 2023. There is great variation in the presence and specifics of these laws, which can create confusion among both people who use drugs and people and organizations working to ensure that they have the supplies they need to protect themselves and others.

Date Published: May 1, 2024