Staggering surge in drug overdose deaths far outpace COVID-19 fatalities in San Francisco

A file 621 individuals died of drug overdoses in San Francisco thus far this 12 months, a staggering quantity that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the town has seen so far.

The disaster fueled by the highly effective painkiller fentanyl may have been far worse if it wasn’t for the practically 3,000 instances Narcan was used from January to the start of November to avoid wasting somebody from the brink of dying, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

The information displays the variety of instances individuals report utilizing Narcan to the Drug Overdose Prevention and Schooling Undertaking, a city-funded program that coordinates San Francisco’s response to overdose, or return to refill their provide. Officers on the DOPE Undertaking stated that for the reason that numbers are self-reported, they’re in all probability a serious undercount.

Final 12 months, 441 individuals died of drug overdoses — a 70% enhance from 2018 — and a pair of,610 potential overdoses had been prevented by Narcan, a drugs generally sprayed up the nostril to reverse an opioid overdose, in keeping with information from the town Medical Examiner’s workplace and the DOPE Undertaking.

The disaster is deepening as a result of fentanyl, which could be 50 to 100 instances stronger than morphine, flooded the town’s drug provide, the newspaper stated. Furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted metropolis companies like housing and therapy, and left many individuals who depend on others to assist save them in the event that they overdose to make use of alone.

Whereas practically 40% of the deaths occurred within the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods close to downtown, metropolis information confirmed the epidemic has touched each a part of the town. Many individuals overdosed in low-income condominium buildings and in city-funded resort rooms for the homeless. Others died on sidewalks, in alleyways and parks across the metropolis.

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