There’s very little I can do about the horrors happening in the Old Country. But there are other, more mundane, horrors happening every day in the Tenderloin, where I work and my students study, that we can do something about: Fentanyl overdose deaths. Today, I was very happy and grateful to host Rob Hoffman from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and distribute Naloxone, commercially known as Narcan, to all my students, along with training on how to use it.
Here’s what Rob told us: Fentanyl accounts for 70% of the overdose deaths in the city. About half of these deaths happen in the few blocks surrounding UC Law San Francisco. The overdose death among African Americans is five times the city average. And, 70% of the people who die are housed. The risk of overdosing is higher for people who use alone, mix opioids with Benzos or alcohol, start using again after losing tolerance for the drugs (for example, after a period of incarceration) or use a dose of especially high potency.
Here are photos I snapped of the slides Rob showed us. Remember, you can obtain a free Narcan kit at the Community Behavioral Health Services Pharmacy on Howard and 10th. If you live or work in the Tenderloin, please carry a kit with you. You can save a life.