SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Thomas Wolf is celebrating sobriety.
In a social media post, Wolf commemorated the last time he did heroin and was homeless on the streets of San Francisco.
“I’m not the same guy I was,” Wolf said. “I mean I look the same but I’m a better human being now because I try to look at m life through a lens of gratitude now.”
Since then Wolf has dedicated his life to making new memories with his family and helping others who are still struggling with addiction.
Wolf was born and raised in San Francisco and that’s where he was born again after his battles.
He credits incarceration and The Salvation Army’s adult rehab center for keeping him clean and holding him accountable.
When Wolf got hooked on heroin he was a child support officer, now serving on a San Francisco street-level drug dealing task fore, a return to public service.
Wolf says the suffering on the streets of the Tenderloin is worse than he’s seen it in his lifetime and blames the arrival of fentanyl and the easily accessible 24/7 open-air drug market that draws addicts from all over the country.
“The police are doing what they can they are arresting,” Wolf said. “I think a one 12 month period between 2019 and 2020 just in the Tenderloin they arrested 786 drug dealers, took them off the street. and also last year they took 40 kilos off the street.”
Wolf believes it is crucial to put dealers behind bars and treat drug users as the victims they are.
Despite new outreach teams making contact with users, there aren’t enough resources.
“We have at least 25,000 drug users in the city and we have about 500 drug treatment beds for the entire city and only 35 detox beds,” Wolf said. “We need more outreach for medically assisted drug treatment.”
Although Wolf met an officer in jail who helped get him sober while incarcerated, statistically it isn’t the place people get better for the long term.
Wolf would like to see a centralized, statewide mental health and substance abuse treatment system in place to coordinate care and get more done quicker.