San Francisco Mayor Declares State of Emergency for Drug Overdose

San Francisco declared an emergency for drug overdoses – Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

On Friday, the Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, declared the state of emergency for drug use in the Tenderloin neighborhood, according to ABC 7.

The mayor said more than 700 people have died of drug overdoses in San Francisco in the past year.

The statement applies to areas within the Tenderloin Police District and will allow the city to accelerate programs, including the repeal of hiring and zoning rules for a temporary liaison center for helping people affected by the opioid crisis to access behavioral health services and other resources.

“The situation in Tenderloin is an emergency and requires an emergency response,” Breed said in a statement. “We demonstrated during COVID that when we can use an Emergency Declaration to remove red tape and barriers that stand in the way of decisive action, we can get things done and make real, tangible progress.”

Matt Haney, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, said drug overdoses kill more than two people a day in San Francisco, mostly in the Tenderloin and SoMa neighborhoods.

“We need an emergency response to drug overdoses, with immediate and rapid crisis intervention, outreach and coordination on our streets, with expanded treatment and detoxification”, Haney said. “We have to act now with everything we have to save lives. This official emergency declaration will give us the tools we need to respond with the required speed and scale ”.

Friday’s San Francisco drug overdose emergency declaration is part of Tenderloin’s Emergency Intervention plan to improve the health and safety of the neighborhood.

The first phase included critical problem definition, neighborhood assessment, and community stakeholder engagement, along with infrastructure improvements and targeted enforcement interventions.

The second phase began this week and will focus on connections to health and social services, a coordinated law enforcement response and streamlined infrastructure improvements.

The third phase will focus on the transition from emergency measures to sustained operations.

The Emergency Declaration must be ratified by the Board of Supervisors within the next seven days and will exist for no more than 90 days, the mayor’s office said.

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