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May 17, 2018 – San Francisco’s mayor wants to create a special medical team — the first of its kind in the nation — to spread out onto the city’s streets and give homeless people a drug that one expert calls “blindingly effective” at abruptly stopping heroin cravings. Mayor Mark Farrell is set to announce Thursday that he is including $6 million in his current budget proposal to fund the 10-person team over the next two years, with the aim of prescribing the medication buprenorphine to at least 250 street addicts. Buprenorphine, widely available only in recent years and commonly known by its main brand name Suboxone, works faster and causes fewer side effects than methadone. Given the heroin epidemic that is swelling the city’s streets with dirty needles and addled users, it’s being seen as a potential game-changer.

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