American Horror Story –
Sep. 1, 2020 – According to a Department of Public Health report released Monday, 441 people died of an overdose in 2019. That is more than one per day for an entire year, and an astronomical jump from the 259 overdoses recorded in 2018. Fifty-four percent of the deaths in 2019 were related to fentanyl, a drug that can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
“This doesn’t surprise any of us,” said Kristen Marshall, who manages the Drug Overdose Prevention and Education (DOPE) project at the National Harm Reduction Coalition, a city-funded program that coordinates San Francisco’s response to overdoses. “We had been sounding the alarm bells for the last three, four, even five years. We said fentanyl is coming.” Monday’s report confirms what many already knew: Fentanyl is killing more people as it becomes increasingly prevalent on San Francisco’s streets, and the city doesn’t have adequate services to handle the surge. The report also showed that the majority of overdoses occurred among Black people, men and those in their 50s.