Overdose deaths far outpace COVID-19 deaths in San Francisco

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FILE - This Jan. 23, 2020, file photo released by the Tulare County Sheriff's Office shows evidence seized after a Jan. 5 traffic stop led officers to major methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking operation, including labs inside three homes in Pixley, Calif., and drugs with a street value of $1.5 million, authorities said. A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far. The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn't for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. (Tulare County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
San Francisco-Overdose Deaths FILE – This Jan. 23, 2020, file photo released by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office shows evidence seized after a Jan. 5 traffic stop led officers to major methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking operation, including labs inside three homes in Pixley, Calif., and drugs with a street value of $1.5 million, authorities said. A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far. The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn’t for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. (Tulare County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

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FILE - In this April 26, 2018, file photo, a man lies on the sidewalk beside a recyclable trash bin in San Francisco. A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far. The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn't for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
San Francisco Overdose Deaths FILE – In this April 26, 2018, file photo, a man lies on the sidewalk beside a recyclable trash bin in San Francisco. A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far. The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn’t for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)


Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far.

The crisis fueled by the powerful painkiller fentanyl could have been far worse if it wasn’t for the nearly 3,000 times Narcan was used from January to the beginning of November to save someone from the brink of death, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

The data reflects the number of times people report using Narcan to the Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project, a city-funded program that coordinates San Francisco’s response to overdose, or return to refill their supply. Officials at the DOPE Project said that since the numbers are self-reported, they are probably a major undercount.

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