Spike of Drug-related Death Count in San Francisco

Las October of this year, San Francisco recorded at least fifty-eight cases of people who died due to excessive drug abuse. According to the chief medical examiner’s latest data, the city’s yearly total of opioid-related deaths reaches over 563, an alarming increase compared to last year’s overall count of 441 fatal drug overdoses. 

Due to the spike of drug overdose-related deaths for this year, there is a possibility that San Francisco may lose two people a day caused by the state’s current drug epidemic. Moreover, the state’s opioid crisis is far from coming to an end.

Fentanyl Consumption and Latest San Francisco Drug-related Death Updates

The spike of the opioid pandemic in San Francisco immensely originates from fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is 50 to 100 times more lethal than morphine. Additionally, the ongoing coronavirus crisis intensified the situation by isolating drug users and halting drug services. The previously mentioned measures caused people to self-overdose with drugs due to the unavailability of care assistants to stop them from excessive chemical intakes.

Before, dead bodies winding up in morgues deaths originate from suicide, murder, accident, or alone without a doctor’s sign-off on the cause of death. However, as of the present, nearly half of the bodies sent to funeral homes are results of accidental drug overdose incidents.

According to The Chronicle, the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office revealed new numbers for this year’s drug-induced deaths. From the January 1 to August 31 statistical count, out of 1,070 bodies examined by the city’s examiner office, 468 of those fatalities resulting from excessive drug consumption.

The Medical Examiner’s office chief forensic toxicologist Dr. Lukka Roda admitted that the spike of drug-related death cases proved a challenge for his investigative team of medical experts. According to Roda, the death records they get caused by drug overdoses are exponentially increasing every day. Roda expressed his sentiment on the situation by saying that it’s his job to examine the information they get, and they can’t do anything except try and keep up with the rise in fatalities.

In the South of Market and Tenderloin communities, they have witnessed over more than 40% of drug-related deaths this year, considering that the two areas’ high statistics of drug deals happen among these vicinities. According to official data records, the city reports more Black people dying from drug abuse intake compared to the municipality’s overall population count. However, San Francisco is not the only Bay Area county to suffer from this predicament.

Santa Clara County’s Share of the Drug Overdoes Epidemic

On Friday, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office listed this year’s overall 53 deaths caused by fentanyl overdoses across the county. Like San Francisco, Santa Clara is also struggling with its rising number of fentanyl-related fatalities. In 2019, Santa Clara only recorded 29 fentanyl-related deaths within the same year. One of the spike’s possible causes is drug users taking fentanyl and pairing it up with pills, making it deadlier and more dangerous to consume for the body.

In response to the worrying increase of drug overdose deaths, Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Michelle Jorden issued an official statement to the media. She addressed the alarming rise of fatalities caused by fentanyl within the county, emphasizing its widespread use among adults, teenagers, and young adults. According to Jorden, fentanyl is present in almost every available resource out there. One can find traces of the said drug in other chemicals, powders, and fake pills. Moreover, Jorden cautioned that even a small whiff of fentanyl could prove dangerous to one’s body. Taking small pill fragments or one whole tablet could bring health complications that might ultimately lead to one’s death.

As of the latest news update, the youngest Santa Clara victim of a fentanyl drug overdose is a 16-year-old girl.