Fatalities in San Francisco from drug overdoses this year have outnumbered coronavirus deaths by more than a three-to-one margin, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported.
There have already been at least 621 deaths from drug overdoses through November in San Francisco, much more than the 173 fatalities due to coronavirus so far this year.
There were 441 deaths in San Francisco due to drug overdoses for all of last year, which itself was a 70% increase from 2018. The drug crisis has been made worse by fentanyl, a powerful opioid that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine.
This dire situation has been made even worse by the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely disrupted city services. One example the Chronicle cited is that the breakdown in services has forced many people, who often rely on others to help save them if they overdose, to use alone.
The situation regarding drug overdose deaths is also at an alarming level natiownide, the Chronicle reported.
Although complete statistics for this year are not yet publicly available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published last week data that showed more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in the 12 months ending in May, the highest level ever recorded for a year-long period.
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