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San Francisco is enabling “slow-motion” suicides by allowing drug users to abuse substances without receiving medical help, says a recovering user

Tenderloin merchants demand S.F. refund taxes, citing drugs and homelessness in the neighborhood
A pedestrian passes a person sleeping on a street in the Tenderloin in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. California Governor Gavin Newsom vetos supervised drug consumption sites in SF and LA. (Photo by Ethan Swope, Staff / The Chronicle)

San Francisco California: In light of the city’s unparalleled overdose issue, campaigners and former drug users in San Francisco are raising concerns over a proposal that would create locations for addicts to consume illegal substances.

Drug treatment advocate and former fentanyl user Tom Wolf stated, “Letting someone stay on the street and shoot dope till they die is not compassionate. It’s not progressive.” She continued, “That doesn’t actually respect their civil liberties.”

San Francisco facilitating ‘slow-motion’ suicides letting addicts use drugs without treatment: recovering user

Tom Wolf, a San Franciscan, credits a Salvation Army residential treatment program for enabling him to overcome his addiction and homelessness. (Fox News Digital / Jon Michael Raasch)

We shouldn’t take the 600 drug overdose deaths in San Francisco each year as normal, he said, “because it’s like seeing someone kill themselves in slow motion.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has backed initiatives to establish supervised consumption sites, places where users can take illegal substances indoors under the observation of trained workers, in an effort to reduce overdose deaths. Additionally, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the city’s legislative body, is debating a bill that would permit supervised consumption locations.

 

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No of how you feel about the sites, Wolf added, “they’re probably going to San Francisco.” “Will it make a difference overall if we don’t do all the other things we need to do, like busting the organized drug distribution ring that operates in San Francisco, cutting down on the supply of narcotics, and giving more people access to treatment options?”

No, it won’t change anything, he continued.

According to city statistics, approximately 2,900 unintentional overdose deaths occurred in San Francisco between January 2017 and December 2022. The synthetic opioid fentanyl was implicated in more over 1,800 of these overdose deaths, which is more than the city’s homicides, road fatalities, and COVID-19 deaths put together during the same time period.

 

San Francisco moves to allow non-profits to operate supervised drug injection sites

San Francisco Mayor London Breed tours Safer Inside, a prototype of a safe injection site for intravenous drug users at Glide in San Francisco on August 29, 2018. (Photo credit by Karl Mondon/The Mercury News/Getty Images)

 

According to city figures, overdose deaths actually outnumber homicide deaths by almost ten times.

A law that would have permitted cities like San Francisco and Oakland to create supervised consumption places was vetoed by California Governor Gavin Newsom last year. These might have unexpected repercussions, he claimed.

According to the independent organization Research Triangle Group, each safe injection location in San Francisco may cost $2.6 million annually.

San Francisco is “simply skipping over a bunch of steps straight to safe injection sites as we’re facing this extraordinary overdose problem,” Wolf said to Fox News. To lessen the amount of drugs available on the streets, “they’re not doing enough around interdiction.”

 

Tenderloin merchants demand S.F. refund taxes, citing drugs and homelessness in the neighborhood

A pedestrian passes a person sleeping on a street in the Tenderloin in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. California Governor Gavin Newsom vetos supervised drug consumption sites in SF and LA. (Photo by Ethan Swope, Staff / The Chronicle)

 

They aren’t doing enough to dismantle the organized drug trafficking network that is present in San Francisco, Wolf said. My argument is that they are skipping all those processes and going directly to safe consumption locations, which may be something that should happen later on in the continuum of care, once the necessary infrastructure is in place.

The overdose reversal drug naloxone and safe-use drug supplies like syringes, tinfoil, and pipes are distributed at harm reduction centers, which are places designed to reduce overdoses through a variety of services including overdose prevention education and distribution. Advocates argue that investment in recovery treatment should take precedence over investment in harm reduction centers.

According to Wolf, harm reduction isn’t always a kind of treatment; in fact, we need more inpatient care..

 

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Ricci Wynne, a former convict charged with cocaine trafficking, stands in front of one of San Francisco’s harm reduction centers. (Fox News Digital / Jon Michael Raasch)

After being homeless for months, Wolf said a six-month residential treatment program administered by the Salvation Army put him on the path to recovery.

According to a San Francisco Department of Public Health portal, the city has 245 short-term residential treatment beds to help addicts and 58 detox beds for managing withdrawal symptoms. A study on supervised injection facilities estimates that there are 22,500 drug injectors in the city.

According to Wolf, spending money on actual treatment is vital in order to “take the drugs off the market, make it harder for individuals to get high, and make it simpler for them to get treatment.”

Not just secure injection sites, he continued.

 

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