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February 5, 2022 Drug Addiction0

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, whose early and robust moves to contain the coronavirus made the city something of a national model, is now urgently trying to confront another public health crisis — drug overdoses and disorder in a long-challenged neighborhood in the city known as the Tenderloin.
Over the past two years, the city has seen more than 1,360 drug overdose fatalities — more than double the total COVID-19 deaths there. The majority of those deaths were in the Tenderloin and neighboring SOMA district, city data show.

“What’s so important is that we have solutions, and we don’t just say, ‘We don’t like it, we don’t want to see it,’ ” Breed tells NPR. “This is about trying to help people, and that’s exactly what we’re going to keep fighting for.”

Breed announced an “emergency declaration” for the area last month saying drug deaths, open-air drug dealing, street chaos and violence there had gotten “totally out of control.” She vowed “tough love” for those who break the law and expanded access to help for those with alcohol and substance use disorders.

The declaration allowed the city to fast-track the creation of a “linkage center” that recently opened. It’s a walk-in one-stop shop for expanded city services, such as drug, alcohol and mental health services, as well as homeless support that includes possibly a shelter bed and eventually permanent housing. At least, that’s the hope.

Breed says she has no illusions that the new linkage center will quickly transform the Tenderloin. But she hopes it offers a new lifeline that meets people where they are.

“The fact is people who struggle with addiction, it’s not as easy as they’re just going to walk through the door and ask for help or we can’t force them into treatment,” she says. “Part of the goal is to make sure that they know that there’s a place where they won’t be judged, and when they’re ready for help or assistance, they can get help or assistance.”

Inequality and other social challenges in the Tenderloin are tough to fix

The Tenderloin’s problems — homelessness, poverty, substance abuse and crime — have plagued the area for decades. And it’s become even more a kind of containment zone for those challenges amid the steady rise of Bay Area tech wealth and its staggering inequality.

But the pandemic’s dislocation mixed with the spread of a dangerously powerful synthetic opioid have recently made things here even worse.

Read More from NPR on Apple News


April 9, 2021 Drug Addiction0

DMX, the raspy-voiced US hip-hop artist who produced the songs Ruff Ryders’ Anthem and Party Up (Up in Here) and who rapped with a trademark delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and “What!” as an ad-lib, has died, according to a statement from his family. American Rapper Earl Simmons, also known as DMX dies at the age of 50.

The influential rapper’s death was announced on Friday (April 9) after reportedly suffering an overdose that resulted in a heart attack on April 2.

The legendary rapper’s team in a press statement on Friday, said: “We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end.

“He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time.

“Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

Source – DMX dies at 50: Newswire NGR


San Diego – County law enforcement and health officials warned residents Friday of three deaths this past weekend caused by fentanyl-laced cocaine in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach.

In addition to the three deaths, two others overdosed on fentanyl– laced cocaine and survived. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be anywhere from 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials could not divulge where the victims got the drugs and no arrests have been made.

April Ella works with A New Path Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing – a group that gives out the drug reversal drug noloxone or narcan at needle exchanges. “Unfortunately, it is more people that we have to hand this drug out to because we are trying to keep more people safe.”

CDC reports show that fentanyl overdoses are increasing across the U.S. as part of the country’s larger opioid epidemic. That trend includes San Diego according to county health officials; the county received 81 reports of fatal fentanyl-related overdoses in 2017, double the number of reported deaths in 2016.

“It is a public health concern, not a punitive drug problem. A first time user taking a huge dosage that they have never done is going to put them in an overdose almost instantly,” said April.

“We have seen a steady increase in fatal overdose cases over the years where fentanyl has been added to opiates,” said Dr. Glenn Wagner, the county’s chief medical examiner. “But now we’re seeing an emerging pattern of cases where fentanyl is unexpectedly added to other drug combinations. It’s a new, deeply concerning trend.”

Drug Enforcement Administration agents are investigating the deaths and have reportedly seized fentanyl-laced narcotics across San Diego and Imperial counties. There is currently no test available to check a drug for fentanyl according to DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers.

“These cases show the deadly and unknown nature of drugs that are being sold on the street,” said Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “If you or someone you know is in need of drug treatment, please get help.”

San Diego County residents seeking drug treatment can contact the county’s Access and Crisis Line 24/7 at (888) 724-7240.

Read more on CBS8’s website

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