SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Hundreds of San Franciscans have died from drug overdoses this year as the city’s fentanyl crisis continues with no end in sight.
According to a recently-released report from the San Francisco Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, 391 people died from accidental overdoses in 2022. Seventy-percent were attributed to fentanyl.
“The level of death and misery on our streets is unacceptable,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said.
The largest percentage of overdose victims were white men between ages 45-64, according to the report. Nine people between ages 15-24 fatally overdosed.
One hundred of the victims were homeless, 275 were not homeless, and 16 were unknown. For location of death, 82 were in the Tenderloin neighborhood, 63 in SOMA, and 63 in Nob Hill, and the remaining were in other parts of the city.
Circulation of the deadly synthetic opioid is an “extreme public safety threat to San Franciscans,” Jenkins said.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, just two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. One pound of fentanyl could kill 226,796 people in San Francisco, about a quarter of the population.
“The lethality of fentanyl presents new and unprecedented risks to our community, and we must do everything in our power to hold drug dealers accountable to help save lives,” Jenkins said. “I am committed to seeking relief for communities ravaged by open air drug markets.”
Zero fentanyl drug dealers were convicted in 2021 under former district attorney Chesa Boudin’s watch, according to Jenkins’ office. Now prosecutors are seeking pre-trial detentions with no bail for suspected serial fentanyl dealers.
Jenkins is also seeking to admonish accused drug dealers in court, advising that if a death is attributed to their sale, they may be charged with murder.
“We have to send a strong message in the community and in the courtroom that we will not stand by and allow dealers to kill innocent people and those suffering from addiction,” Jenkins said.