SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The city's medical exam reported on Wednesday a worrying trend towards fatal overdoses of heroin and fentanyl in San Francisco.
The number of overdoses more than doubled in 2019 compared to the previous year.
Some are now calling for an emergency response from city guides because of the new numbers.
An opioid addict who refused to show his face and only wanted to be called a duck says that he has lived on the street for 6 1/2 years and has seen many overdoses at first hand.
"The last fatal I saw was a little over a year ago," he said.
New preliminary data from the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office show that 290 deaths have occurred in the past year related to heroin or fentanyl or a combination of the two opioids.
That is more than double the total number of fatal overdoses of these drugs in 2018 when 134 were registered.
"It is terrible, it is devastating. This is the deadliest epidemic that our city is currently facing," said Haney.
Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents the Tenderloin and South of Market, two areas where fatal overdoses occur, calls on the health department to take immediate action.
He recently passed a law that requires the Department of Health to report monthly or quarterly overdose deaths so that the city can better track and respond to what he calls a fatal epidemic.
The city's health department issued a statement on Wednesday saying it was extremely concerned about the rising rate of overdoses and taking aggressive measures to save lives.
They point out that almost 1,700 lives were saved in 2018 because Narcan was made available to addicts.
You have expanded the prescription of a drug called Bupe, which is an alternative to methadone to treat opioid addiction. As a result, 2,600 addicts are treated.