Local News

Increase in Public Naloxone Use in SF

With a recent increase and more widespread availability of naloxone, a common opioid-overdose reversal drug, drug-users and members of the public who carry the life-saving drug have doubled as medics on the streets of San Francisco. In 2018, San Francisco paramedics administered naloxone to 1,647 people, which was increase from 980 people in 2016. That compares with 1,658 incidents of naloxone-induced overdose reversals by laypeople, according to self-reported data from the DOPE Project, a Bay Area overdose prevention program run by the Harm Reduction Coalition.

In 2017, 28,466 people across the U.S. died from overdoses involving synthetic opioids, which include fentanyl and related compounds, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. California, which represents 12% of the country’s population, had 536 of those deaths — fewer than 2% of the total. The lowered death rate may be linked to the widespread practice by community organizations in San Francisco of distributing naloxone to the drug-using population.

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