San Francisco on Track for Deadliest Year for Overdoses

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December 6, 2023

San Francisco is on pace for its deadliest year yet for overdoses, the latest development indicating the difficult conditions of the city as it faces a crisis of drug use, crime, and homelessness.

The city saw 692 accidental overdose deaths from January to October 2023, according to data the San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released last month. It is on pace to see more than 800 deaths in 2023, topping the deadliest year on record of 2020, which saw 720 such deaths, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

The record overdose deaths were driven by fentanyl, which was involved in 83 percent of deaths in the first 10 months of 2023, according to the medical examiner's data.

Methamphetamine and cocaine played a role in just over 51 percent and 46 percent of the deaths, respectively. Those who overdosed also used medicinal opioids and heroin in a small number of cases.

The examiner's report is the latest statistic illustrating the challenges facing the city, plagued by drugs and crime. In September, the city saw a record office vacancy rate of just under 34 percent, and a survey of 74 restaurants found that just 3 percent said they had not experienced vandalism that month.

Published under: Crime , San Francisco