SAN FRANCISCO — A list of 621 individuals died of drug overdoses at San Francisco so far this season, a staggering amount that far outpaces that the 173 deaths in COVID-19 town have seen so far.
The tragedy triggered by the potent painkiller fentanyl might have been worse if it was not for the almost 3,000 days Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to rescue a person from the verge of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.
Officials in the DOPE Project explained that because the amounts are self-reported, they’re likely a significant undercount.
This past year, 441 individuals died of drug overdoses — a 70% gain in 2018 — and 2,610 possible overdoses were averted from Narcan, a medicine commonly sprayed the nose up to undo an esophageal disease, based on data in the city Medical Examiner’s office along with also the DOPE Project.
The crisis is deepening because fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, flooded the town drug source, the paper said. Also, the coronavirus pandemic has interrupted city services such as treatment and housing and left most men and women who rely upon other people to save them whenever they purport to use independently.
While almost 40 percent of those deaths happened in the Tenderloin and South of Market areas near downtown, city information revealed that the outbreak has touched every area of the city. Lots of people overdosed in low-income buildings and at city-funded hotel rooms to the homeless. Others died on shore, in alleyways, and parks across town.