SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – San Francisco’s efforts to curb the rise in overdose deaths have so far not taken hold. In fact, data released by the city Monday shows San Francisco is on pace for a record number of overdose deaths so far in 2023.

Despite San Francisco’s efforts to reverse the trend, overdose deaths continue to climb. In July, there were 74 overdose deaths, in August that number climbed to 84.

“It is a tragedy that is unfolding every day. We had nearly three deaths a day in August in San Francisco due to overdoses, at least 80% of which based on prior data we know are due to fentanyl,” said SF Public Health Director Grant Colfax. 

Colfax says despite the sense of hopelessness and despair, those addicted and their family and friends must know there is a way out.

“The key things we want people to understand is that recovery is possible, treatment is available from a number of sites across the city, that we have evidence-based treatments and that we are doing everything we can to prevent more overdose deaths,” he said.

Health officials say they’ve already expanded outreach as well as services and treatment programs. Now, they’ve launched an overdose dashboard that will not only track overdose deaths in the city but overdose 911 calls and substance use services, such as what medications are being used to treat addiction.

“This year, we have passed out more than 73,000 Naloxone doses,” said SF Director of Behavioral Health Hillary Kunins. “This life-saving medication is being routinely distributed in high-risk settings where people are vulnerable to overdose including during our street care outreach, and in our outreach to encampments in the city, in the lobby of our jail, in treatment centers, and in permanent supportive housing.”

City officials say the overdose trends identified in the dashboard will help guide the city’s response to the crisis as it relates to expanding services and considering new strategies.