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San Francisco Launches New Street Drug Overdose Response Team

By Jamie Ferrell

San Francisco Launches New Street Drug Overdose Response Team

The city anticipates a case list of about 700 individuals during the first year.

Mayor London Breed has announced the launch of a new street team to treat drug overdoses in San Francisco, along with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Fire Department. The Street Overdose Response Team (SORT) launched today, Monday August 2, with the goal of decreasing the amount of drug overdoses in the city.

SORT is launching alongside a variety of other overdose prevention measures, all part of a $13.2M package. They anticipate having a case list of 700 individuals during the first year.

The Street Overdose Response team will “will proactively identify, engage, and follow up with individuals who have survived an overdose” with the hope of preventing repeat overdoses in the future. In addition to SORT, the city will also roll out 20 temporary beds at the SOMA RISE Center, open the Market Street opioid treatment clinic around the clock, increase distribution and access to naloxone and buprenorphine, and expand incentives for addiction treatments.


People experiencing homelessness are the most at-risk group, accounting for a quarter of the city’s overdose deaths, a rate which has doubled in the last year. This population has shown a rapid increase in drug overdoses from fentanyl, which is a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin.

“We know that overdose deaths are preventable and every person who dies is someone’s son, daughter, friend, or neighbor. It is urgent that we save lives by doing what we know will work best,” said Mayor Breed. “The Street Overdose Response Team is focused on helping people who are most at risk get the help they need to start their recovery. SORT is part of a package of new and expanded investments we are making this year to flatten the curve of the drug overdose epidemic and even lower the numbers of these tragic deaths.”

 

Featured image: David Tran Photo via Shutterstock