SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A San Francisco supervisor has unveiled his emergency action plan to fight the sweeping opioid crisis.
There is nothing new about blatant, public drug use in San Francisco, the paraphernalia scattered across the sidewalk or the overdoses that have now hit an all time high. What is new is one supervisor calling it a public health crisis and is asking everyone to help solve it.
“This is the most deadly epidemic that affecting our city right now,” said Supervisor Matt Haney.
Haney is asking city hall staff and everyone else to get and learn how to administer narcan, a drug that reverses opioid overdose.
“Residents, businesses should know how to save a life if it comes to that,” said Haney. But it is a big ask for taxpayers who already give the city hundreds of millions of dollars toward that end,
When asked if San Francisco City Hall was doing enough, Haney’s answer, interestingly, was, “Absolutely not.”
That’s why he’s also introduced a that calls for the department of public health to create an emergency plan to deal with the crisis. It would include increasing access to narcan, increased outreach to those using drugs and and a plan to create emergency detox centers.
But KPIX talked to the people who need those things and they say it’s only treating a symptom, not the source.
“Drugs aren’t the problem, they are a solution. The problem is what’s happening to our world,” said homeless drug user Cassandra Mudge. The problem Mudge speaks of specifically is homelessness, another San Francisco crisis that its $279 million dollar budget has yet to solve.
So while it’s a step in the right direction, public health workers say there is still a long way to go. Even Kristen Marshall, the manager of the Drug Overdose Prevention and Education (DOPE) says, “There is always more to be done and my hope is that we are going to start to see some policies implemented that would support people’s whole being and not just their risk for overdose.”