San Francisco leaders announce new effort to curb opioid overdose epidemic – NBC Bay Area

As the opioid overdose epidemic continues to spread across the state, a new bipartisan legislative committee is working together to find solutions.

The situation came as San Francisco leaders announced two new measures to curb a surge in drug-related deaths in the city.

“In San Francisco, we’ve seen opioid overdose-related deaths triple in the past four years alone,” said Assemblyman Matt Haney.

He is leading a new special legislative committee that will draw on national resources and experts.

“The goal of this committee is to really develop a state solution, a legislative solution and a statewide plan to address this opioid epidemic,” Haney said.

But just a week ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have allowed San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles to organize safe injection sites to help manage overdose.

The governor said the contested sites could have unintended consequences, but San Francisco leaders say they are moving forward.

This week, the mayor and the Department of Public Health announced a new effort to reduce overdose by 15 percent over the next three years. However, at least one of these strategies has already attracted attention.

San Francisco’s makeshift health center in Tenderloin drew protesters at one point, calling it a safe injection point operated by the city.

The center is now closed, but according to the San Francisco Department of Health, three more sites are planned in different communities.

Part of the city’s announcement reads:

“These health centers will include effective elements learned from the Tenderloin Center in San Francisco’s new community-focused location.”

Meanwhile, interim District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said her office plans to crack down on dealers.

“It’s an illegal drug that can cause death, and if we find out that they sold a pill or substance that caused death, they could be charged with murder in the future,” Jenkins said.

The DA acknowledged that linking a specific death to a specific dealer would be a challenge, but she wanted dealers to understand the potential consequences.

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