At overdose events in one Rhode Island city, arrests by police and combative behavior are rare, study finds

  • Source: News from Brown
  • Published: 11/08/2022 12:00 AM

While police officers are often dispatched alongside other first responders when drug overdoses are reported, an analysis of hundreds of overdose events in one Rhode Island city found that there were scant incidents that actually needed involvement from law enforcement. “It was surprising and promising to find that arrests only occurred in about 1% of all cases of overdoses attended by police,” said Alexandria Macmadu, study co-author and a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Epidemiology at Brown University’s School of Public Health. “The research shows that there were few situations that truly required law enforcement presence due to safety concerns.” The first responders who are dispatched to an overdose incident often include police, fire rescue personnel and emergency medical services, Macmadu said.


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