SF counts 473 cases of drug overdose deaths

1 min read

According to the new data released by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, within the first seven months of 2023, 473 people died from accidental drug overdoses. 

July alone had seen 71 overdose deaths in San Francisco. 

The medical examiner’s Forensic Laboratory Division found that the majority of the 473 deaths — 385 — were caused by fentanyl, an opioid that causes its user to stop breathing. 

Xylazine, a new street drug also referred to as “Tranq” and “Zombie Drug,” killed 16 people.

This year, an average of two people die every day from drug overdoses in San Francisco. 

On Thursday, San Francisco Department of Public Health officials gathered to remember victims whose lives were lost, as well as recognize International Overdose Awareness Day.

August 31 is recognized as the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose and acknowledge the grief felt by family and friends left behind.

According to the CDC, an estimated 110,511 people in the United States died of drug overdoses and poisonings in 2022. Nearly 70 percent of those deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.