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San Francisco expected to have record year for fatal drug overdoses

Of the total accidental overdose deaths so far this year, 83.5% were male, comprising 32% Black, 38% White, 18% Latinx, and 4% Asian individuals.
San Francisco expected to have record year for fatal drug overdoses
Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 16, 2023

San Francisco is on track to have its deadliest overdose year on record.

As of Oct. 31, San Francisco has recorded 692 accidental overdose deaths this year, surpassing the past two years and marking it as the deadliest year since 2020, when accidental overdose deaths reached 726, according to new data released by the San Francisco Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.

In 2022, the city saw a total of 649 accidental overdoses for the entire year. As of now, there has been an almost 7% rise in deaths compared to last year.

In the data, fentanyl was shown as the primary reason for accidental overdose deaths in the city, making up over 82% (572 deaths) of the total fatalities. Other drugs used included methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and medical opioids.

Of the total deaths, 83.5% were male, comprising 32% Black, 38% White, 18% Latinx and 4% Asian individuals. Among them, 30% were in the age range of 55 to 64, and 21% were between 35 and 54 years old.

According to the report, there were 65 accidental overdose deaths in October, marking an increase from September's 55 deaths but fewer than the highest recorded in August, which saw 88 deaths.

This preliminary data comes a couple of weeks after the announcement by Gov. Gavin Newsom and city officials of a collaborative task force dedicated to treating opioid deaths in San Francisco similarly to homicide cases to ensure accountability for drug dealers.

“The opioid crisis has claimed too many, and fentanyl traffickers must be held accountable including, as appropriate, for murder. This task force is fighting for those affected by this crisis — for victims and loved ones who deserve peace," Newsom said. "Working together, we will continue providing treatment and resources to help those struggling with substance use — and secure justice for families who have lost loved ones.”

While this data is only for San Francisco, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths as a whole.

Approximately 109,680 overdose deaths were reported last year, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released earlier this year. 

SEE MORE: Survey shows 1 in 6 Americans had substance use disorder in 2022


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