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San Francisco proposes to provide direct addiction treatment to opioid users

Published On: 05-25-2018 in Category: Drug Abuse

San Francisco proposes to provide direct addiction treatment to opioid users

San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell has come up with a plan to directly provide help to drug users in the city so that they break free from the clutches of addiction. The main objective of the plan is to bring treatment for substance use disorder directly on the streets.

The plan involving an investment of nearly $6 million aims to create “a dedicated drug addiction street team” to distribute buprenorphine, which is known to eliminate heroin cravings faster than methadone. In addition to this, 10 new clinicians will be added to the Department of Public Health Street Medicine Team to provide treatment to people overdosing on opioids and heroin on the streets and in the parks.

Expressing his views on the opioid crisis engulfing San Francisco, Farrell said that the current status quo was unacceptable. “We need to meet these individuals where they are and get them the help they need, and to ensure that our streets remain safe for all our residents,” he said. The Mayor also announced that funds for the new initiative would come from his current budget proposal.

According to official estimates, San Francisco has nearly 11,000 heroin users who shoot up regularly using needles on the city’s various streets. Every month, authorities report picking up over 12,500 used needles from different encampments and homeless locations across the city. City officials said the proposal is an extension of a 2016 pilot program in which public health care workers reached out to homeless heroin users on the city’s streets to hand out buprenorphine. As per the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH), almost 60 percent of the drug users who received the necessary medication remained clean and sober.

Addiction to prescription drugs on the rise in San Francisco

Americans have started abusing prescription drugs in a way never seen before. Many take drugs that are prescribed for others because they are least aware of the potential threats posed by such medications. However, those who genuinely hold a doctor’s prescription for a specific drug are no less guilty of abuse. According to the DPH, in 2016 alone, 105 people died of opioid overdose, and 22 others due to fentanyl overdose, which is a 50 percent increase compared to the previous year’s fatalities.

Studies show that several homeless drug users in the city’s Tenderloin district are highly prone to severe emotional and psychological issues arising from past traumatic experiences and extended substance abuse. Moreover, paucity of professional counseling and rehabilitation services in the neighborhood has left very few options for the people to deal with their addiction problems in an effective manner. Under such circumstances, the Mayor’s initiative to reach out to drug users will go a long way in helping them fight the menace of addiction.

Battling menace of addiction

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to prescription opioids, heroin or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The San Francisco Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 415-366-6922 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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