One addict-turned-activist warned San Francisco has become the “epicenter” of the nationwide drug crisis as the city struggles to come up with the resources to battle the “cartel-fueled” calamity.
Tom Wolf, founder, and CEO of the Pacific Alliance for Prevention and Recovery spoke out about the impact that organized crime has had on the city’s opioid crisis. Overdoses from drugs continue to rise.
Wolf stated Tuesday that San Francisco is the epicenter of the overdose crisis in America.
He said, “And they have about 500 of them right now in San Francisco right in broad daylight right next to the street for everyone to see and we don’t have enough resources to stop them.”
His comments come as a disturbing video shows paramedics loading another dead body into an emergency vehicle last week, after their third overdose call of the morning.
Between January and February of this year alone, there were 131 accidental drug overdose deaths, according to the San Francisco office of the chief medical examiner.
Critics attribute the rise in drug-related deaths to the border crisis. According to Fox News, 800 pounds of fentanyl were seized at ports of entry in the past fiscal year.
800 pounds also includes a bust at Southern California’s Border Patrol station. Border Patrol found 232 pounds in a vehicle stopped at San Clemente traffic lights. This was enough to kill 50,000,000 Americans
Wolf noted that 647 overdose deaths occurred in San Francisco last calendar year. If officials fail to take immediate action, this suggests that the current trend could outweigh last year’s statistics.
According to San Francisco’s chief medical examiner, 458 overdoses were caused by fentanyl.
Wolf pinned blame on the police department shortages, arguing there are little incentives for new officers to seek employment and veteran officers to stay in the city as they leave the force in droves.
“We’re down 500 police officers in our city,” Wolf said. “We took $28 million of funding away from the police two years ago. Nobody wants to come to the city to become a cop. People are retiring and leaving the police force. So, yeah, we’re really under the gun.”
“We just don’t have the resources to combat this cartel-fueled, organized drug dealing that’s really killing our city right now,” he continued.
A report last week revealed that many officers from San Francisco were not qualified or properly documented.
45 officers in the Bay Area were found to have missing vital information in their records of hiring. This included proof of citizenship and fingerprints.
Wolf called on federal and local officials to act to end the crisis. Wolf also stressed the importance of recognizing the drug crisis as both a matter of public health and criminal justice.
Wolf said, “They’re saying this and framing it more in that it’s an emergency, it doesn’t have a criminal justice issue, but the truth is it’s both. You may have heard the expression “Half measures are useless” which refers to when one aspect of the solution is ignored. ”
“So guess what?” “People continue to die and our neighborhood is being harmed by the drug and drug trading going on right now.”
Fentanyl can be deadly, even in small doses. It is the cause of the opioid crisis that has claimed the lives and health of thousands of Americans each year.
Fentanyl can be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, so users don’t know they’re taking it.
At this point all we can do is hit our knees and pray for all of those struggling with addiction and that a solution for the fentanyl problem comes before it is too late. I have lost so many loved ones to opioid addiction and I know so many others have as well, and if we ban together we can create change.