Tag Archives: San Francisco Department of Public Health

Attention Nancy: San Francisco saw 150 percent increase in fentanyl-related deaths last year

Nancy Pelosi’s pinned tweet (as of Saturday afternoon):

“House Democrats have accomplished so much already. So far we have taken action to… Defend Americans’ access to affordable health care and prescription drugs.”

As reported by Fox News: The number of deaths from fentanyl overdoses in San Francisco jumped by nearly 150 percent last year, according to a report by the city’s public health department made public this week.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 89 deaths in the city were attributed to fentanyl overdoses, up from 37 deaths in 2017. By comparison, 70 people died from prescription opioid overdoses and 60 deaths were attributed to heroin overdoses.

A preliminary report released in June attributed 57 deaths to fentanyl overdoses, but health officials told the Chronicle they had expected that figure to increase as the city medical examiner determined the cause of more deaths.

The city has experienced an uptick in fentanyl-related deaths since 2008, when five deaths were reported. In 2010, six deaths were attributed to the drug, which killed 22 people in 2016.

It’s not a huge surprise to see this, although it’s certainly disappointing and sad to have lost this many lives in the city,” Dr. Phillip Coffin, the director of substance use research for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, told the Chronicle. “Unfortunately, there is no locality that can withstand the introduction of fentanyl without some increase in mortality.”

In its legal form, fentanyl is used to treat patients recovering from surgery. However, the synthetic drug is often mixed with other drugs like heroin and cocaine in powder form for those looking to get high, KTVU reported in June.

“In San Francisco, that’s how fentanyl came to us. In counterfeit pills at first a few years ago. At this point it is its own drug supply,” Kristen Marshall from the Drug Overdose Prevention & Education Project told the station.

Fentanyl is a highly addictive opiate that is 100 times more potent than other prescription opioids like morphine, according to the paper.

Read the whole report here.

DCG

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