SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – San Francisco saw 43 drug overdoses last month, raising the total for 2022 to 501 so far, according to a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Of the 501 drug overdoses, 359 (72%) involved the opioid drug fentanyl. Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate, is between 30-50 times stronger than heroin. A 3-milligram dose is enough to kill an average adult male, according to the United States Department of Justice.
It is believed to be the cause of more than three-quarters of all U.S. drug overdose deaths, of which there were over 100,000 in 2021 alone. It is considered by drug enforcement agents to be the deadliest threat they face today.
After fentanyl, methamphetamine was involved in 279 (56%) of the deaths and cocaine in 199 (40%) of the deaths.
As in prior reports, the Tenderloin (20%) and South of Market (16%) neighborhoods led the city in drug overdose deaths.
Of the victims this year, 79% were male and 21% female. Forty-seven percent were white, 29% were Black and 15% were Latino. Three-quarters had a fixed address at the time of their deaths.
In a particularly grim statistic, overdoses went up on Halloween (Oct. 31) compared to previous days, with four total that day alone — all involving fentanyl.
Almost twice as many San Franciscans have died from drug overdoses this decade as from COVID-19, constituting what District 6 (South of Market) Supervisor Matt Dorsey has called an “ongoing public health calamity.”