San Francisco hit a record 84 accidental drug overdose deaths last month, according to preliminary city data.
That's about five deaths every two days. August surpassed January's 83 drug overdose deaths to become the deadliest month since San Francisco began tracking monthly overdose deaths three years ago.
A total of 563 people have died from a drug overdose so far this year in the City by the Bay, although the causes of more than 100 of those deaths are under investigation. Fentanyl was involved in 66 of the recorded deaths from August.
According to city data, San Francisco is projected to incur 845 overdose deaths this year, which would break the 2020 record of 725 overdose deaths. Fatal drug overdoses fell to 647 last year, but have spiked again this year, even as the city has poured millions into addressing addiction and overdoses.
A "safe consumption" site in the Tenderloin neighborhood was shut down after about 11 months last year over concerns about how much it cost, complaints about neighborhood quality of life from residents, and the site's failure to connect drug addicts with treatment programs.
Even drug users are concerned about the situation on the streets.
"It's crazy, so sad out here. It's like a zombie apocalypse," Georgia Taylor, 32, told the San Francisco Chronicle. Taylor said she started using fentanyl "because I lost my two kids to child protective services and had a broken heart."
"You can't help people who don't want help," Taylor told the outlet. "You can find 100 people out here who have 100 different reasons for using, and we all have to be ready to quit before it will work. I've been clean before; and I so, so want to get clean again before I overdose and die. But it's so hard."
Apart from the ongoing fentanyl crisis, a new drug is flooding the San Francisco drug scene and causing new problems for the city, The Daily Wire reported.
Known as "tranq" on the streets, xylazine is an inexpensive, skin-rotting horse tranquilizer manufactured in China that has recently appeared on the streets of San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York. The "zombie drug" causes skin lesions that can penetrate to the bone and can slow a person's heart rate and breathing until they are catatonic or dead.
Narcan, the emergency opioid reversal medication, reportedly does not work on xylazine because it is not an opioid.
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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