San Francisco drug overdose deaths for January and February this year were nearly 70% higher than the same time period in 2020, according to a Monday report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
In the first two months of 2021, San Francisco recorded 135 overdose deaths. In January and February of 2021, there were 81 people who died of an accidental drug overdose. Of those deaths, 80 were caused by the highly addictive drug fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine.
There were nearly 700 drug overdose deaths in San Francisco for all of 2020. But the latest figures put the city on track to surpass those levels this year.
The report comes as the deadly drug has flooded San Francisco in recent years, contributing to a surge in deaths pushed to record heights by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, Supervisor Matt Haney introduced legislation to force certain city departments to provide reports annually on how they plan to address the drug epidemic, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“The overdose crisis in our city is horrific and it is getting much worse,” Haney said. “We need a response to this crisis that mirrors the data-driven, coordinated approach we’ve seen to COVID-19.”