San Francisco broke its annual record for overdose deaths in 2023

With 806 victims, it surpassed its highest record established in 2020 (725). Of the total, 653 people lost their lives due to fentanyl consumption.

Overdose deaths in the city of San Francisco, California, reached their highest annual level in 2023. Between January 1 and December 31 of last year, 806 people died as a result of excessive drug use, surpassing the record set in 2020, a period in which 725 citizens lost their lives. In December, 52 deaths were recorded and the deadliest month was August.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health recently published a preliminary report in which it differentiated overdose deaths according to the drug consumed by the victims, knowing that many of the dead had more than one narcotic found in their system.

Fentanyl, one of the major problems facing American society, was responsible for the majority of overdose deaths, recording a total of 653 fatalities. That is, more than 80% of the total deaths.

2024 01_OCME Overdose Report_Voz Media by VozMedia on Scribd

The second substance that caused the most deaths in San Francisco last year was methamphetamine (407 victims, 51%), followed by cocaine (370), medicinal opioids (61) and heroin (40).

It is not a crisis that San Francisco can solve alone

The serious situation that San Francisco is experiencing with drug use and overdoses is not just a problem of local institutions. In a press conference, the Director of Health of the city and county of San Francisco, Dr. Grant Colfax, requested help from state and federal authorities to combat this crisis:

San Francisco cannot solve this problem of record overdose deaths alone. We trust that our city and community partners and our legislators at the local, state and federal levels will join us at this time to continue addressing this crisis.

Dr. Colfax added that the record for December 2023 (52) decreased compared to the figure for August 2022 (87), this decrease is not cause for celebration:

These reductions in deaths in December are nothing to brag about in a year with a record number of tragic deaths overall. Every person who died was someone's loved one: a son, a brother, a life partner, a mother, a father, a best friend.

White men between 55 and 64 years old, the most common victim

The report segregated the victims based on several factors. By gender, overdose deaths occurred mainly in men, representing 82.8%, while women represented 16.9%.

By age, the range of 55 to 64 years had the highest record (30%), followed by people from 35 to 44 years (21%) and those from 45 to 54 years (20%). In relation to race, whites represented the highest percentage (39%), followed by blacks (31%) and Hispanics (18%).