Overdose Outnumber Coronavirus Deaths in San Francisco

The number of San Francisco residents who have died from drug overdoses this year far exceeded the number of residents who have died from the coronavirus.

621 people have died in San Francisco of drug overdoses – that equates to nearly four times as many as have been killed by COVID-19.

A report in the Chronicle noted on Saturday:

Fifty-eight more people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco last month [November], bringing the yearly total to at least 621. That compares to 441 deaths in all of 2019.

The latest numbers put San Francisco on track to losing nearly two people a day by the end of the year and dwarf the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen so far this year.

The drug crisis has been exacerbated by fentanyl, a powerful opioid that can be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

The pandemic has intensified the drug epidemic in San Francisco by disrupting city services and forcing many people, who often rely on others to help save them if they overdose, to use in relative isolation.

The most recent data released on Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) indicates that approximately 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12-months ending in May 2020, a new record.

“The increases in drug overdose deaths appear to have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CDC noted.


About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: Used needles are collected and exchanged for clean ones by the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center in San Francisco. San Francisco has aggressively reduced the number of drug overdose deaths. (Photo by Bryan Chan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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