With less than a month until the election, the topic of San Francisco’s open-air drug crisis and potential solutions is at the forefront of many voters’ minds. SF Supervisor Matt Dorsey has called the fentanyl epidemic the city is facing the worst public health crisis since the AIDS epidemic. Three-quarters of the drug overdose deaths in the city this year have been caused by fentanyl.
For Dorsey, “as somebody who is in recovery and who looks at a number and has looked at this number every month, knowing that I’m one bad decision from being there in that group,” the issue is deeply personal. Dorsey is formulating an initiative he calls San Francisco Recovers.
If this measure is approved, it will mandate that 21 city departments and 6 city commissions report back on the resources required to deal with the drug crisis.
To illustrate his point, he mentions the positive outcomes in drug-free cities like Amsterdam and Lisbon.
Democrats in Search Of Drug Prevention Methods
“In reality, their stance is one of extreme laxity. The reason why they have supervised consumption facilities is to prevent drug use in the open”. Dorsey said.” In the neighbourhoods I serve south of Market, you don’t see blocks taken over by drug scenes and drug dealers. “He continued.
Dorsey expressed confidence that the current district attorney, Brooke Jenkins, would bring prosecution against drug traffickers if given the chance. Jenkins is a candidate in the highly scrutinised district attorney election. John Hamasaki, a progressive defence attorney, is one of her opponents.
“The use of law enforcement and the criminal justice system to combat substance abuse is one area where I disagree with the current rhetoric. Everyone agrees that addiction is a disease and that it is a public health issue rather than a legal one “Hamasakisaid.
According to Hamasaki, locking up addicts isn’t the answer to the problem of drug abuse.
“Maybe it sounds reasonable to lock people up for short periods of time. When used, they increase the risk of death and drug overdoses “His words.
San Francisco Fails in Democratic tolerance of drug use
Public health workers need to be deployed to the Tenderloin and other affected neighbourhoods in an effort to facilitate treatment access. San Francisco is now a political outcast on a national scale. Fox News commentators have used the city as an example of the failure of Democratic tolerance of drug use. The city’s previous district attorney has been criticised by centrist Democrats like President Joe Biden for his ineffectiveness in reducing crime.
Democrats on the left, including democratic socialists, say the city does not do enough to combat issues like homelessness, mental illness, and drug abuse. Advocates for public health are concerned that those struggling with addiction and poverty will be caught in the crossfire of the upcoming battle over what went wrong in America’s most beautiful city. Kimbel Welch, who was homeless and addicted for 20 years, says that San Francisco is his idea of heaven.
People migrate to this area because of the low cost of drugs, the abundance of free food, and the relative safety from law enforcement. And that’s how I found myself in the San Francisco Bay Area. Welch entered recovery and began working at a drug treatment charity in 2017 after being threatened with jail time.