San Francisco’s Overdose Death Rate Exceeds 49 of America’s Most Populous Counties

San Francisco had the second-highest fatal overdose rate among the 50 most populous counties in the nation last year, according to an analysis from the San Francisco Chronicle. Only Philadelphia had more overdose deaths per capita.

Between October 2021 and 2022, there were 69.9 deaths for every 100,000 residents in San Francisco. 

Fentanyl is fueling this deadly epidemic. It has similarly contributed to rising death rates in Los Angeles and King County, Washington.

According to Dr. Philip Coffin, the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s director of substance use research, the fentanyl epidemic appears to have hit San Francisco later than other regions. He believes this could account for its current sky-high death rate. 

“I think the transition to fentanyl exposed for us the size of the population of people at risk,” Coffin told the Chronicle.

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