San Francisco on Track for Deadliest Year on Record for Drug Overdoses

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September 19, 2023

San Francisco is on track to hit its deadliest year of drug overdoses since the city began counting in 2020, the latest struggle for the city as it loses businesses over widespread homelessness and crime.

The city saw 84 overdose deaths in August, an increase of 10 from July, tying January as the deadliest month since the tracking began. At the current rate, the city would close the year with 845 overdose deaths, which would top the previous record 725 overdose deaths in 2020, the San Francisco Chronicle reported..

The news comes a month after Marc Benioff, cofounder and CEO of Salesforce, said that his company may be hosting its final "Dreamforce" tech conference in San Francisco this year, pointing to attendees' fears about safety in the city because of drugs and homelessness.

Salesforce has given tens of millions of dollars to fight homelessness and crime, but the city continues to struggle with public safety, an issue that has prompted dozens of businesses to close or relocate.

Homicides in San Francisco have increased nearly 40 percent from 2020 to 2022, and deaths from fentanyl have spiked. Parts of the Bay Area are even struggling with an increase in pirate attacks.