Arkansas Code Title 20. Public Health and Welfare § 20-13-1702. Legislative findings

The General Assembly finds that:

(1) In the United States, drug overdose death rates more than tripled since 1990;

(2) Every day in the United States, one hundred twenty (120) people die as a result of a drug overdose while another six thousand seven hundred forty-eight (6,748) are treated in emergency departments for the misuse or abuse of drugs;

(3) Joshua Ashley-Pauley of Faulkner County died of a drug overdose in May 2014;

(4) Drug overdoses were the leading cause of death in 2012, with drug overdoses causing more deaths among people between twenty-five (25) years of age and sixty-four (64) years of age than motor vehicle traffic crashes;

(5) Overdose reporting legislation, medical amnesty legislation, or 911 Good Samaritan laws have been enacted in fourteen (14) states, including Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, and are under consideration in several other states;

(6) In North Carolina, it is believed that at least twenty (20) lives have been saved since passage of similar legislation;  and

(7) The State of Arkansas must take steps to combat the increase of drug overdoses in the state and protect the health and safety of its citizens.

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