Missouri Legal Update
2019 Lesson 4: Substance Use, Behavior & Medical Emergencies – Part 1
This is Part 1 of a three-part online interpersonal perspectives course on Substance Use, Behavior, and Medical Emergencies.
Section one addresses the importance of law enforcement officials understanding their duty of care when in contact with people using substances or who may be experiencing a medical emergency. It examines the two situations under which the Fourteenth Amendment imposes an affirmative duty on police to protect or care for private citizens: 1) In custodial and other settings in which the state has limited the individuals' ability to care for themselves; and 2) When the state affirmatively places a particular individual in a position of danger the individual would not otherwise have faced. The lesson also provides examples of cases illustrating these concepts.
Section two addresses substance use. It explains general indicators of intoxication, substance use disorders, drug overdose, withdrawal, and drug-related medical emergencies. It goes on to explain the specific health and behavioral effects of specific drugs, including: alcohol; tobacco; marijuana; stimulants (including methamphetamine and cocaine); hallucinogens; MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly); and opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin).
Section three addresses law enforcement officers responding to substance users. It provides details on following crisis-intervention guidelines.