Drug overdoses kill more people than car accidents in most states, but nearly two-thirds of states don't have laws that can help people survive an overdose.
In Maine, where fatal heroin overdoses quadrupled between 2011 and 2012, Gov. Paul LePage (R) appears set on shooting down a new bill that would increase the availability of naloxone, a prescription drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose. Last year he vetoed a similar bill on the basis that access to the drug would give opiate abusers “a false sense of security."
Only 17 states and the District of Columbia have laws expanding prescription regulations around naloxone. The same number of states provide some "Good Samaritan" immunity to drug users seeking overdose help for themselves or others. Research shows that both types of laws significantly reduce preventable deaths, and expanded naloxone access does not encourage drug abuse.
See full-size image here. Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post.
Correction: An earlier version of this story had an error in the key and stated that only 17 states and the District of Columbia allow naloxone to be carried by lay administrators, including emergency personnel, at-risk users and their families. These laws actually expand prescription authority.