San Francisco lost a record number of lives to drug overdoses this year, breaking the city’s previous grim milestone for drug deaths set in 2020.
At least 752 people died of drug overdoses in just the first 11 months of this year, with 57 of those deaths coming in November, according to preliminary data released by the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office Thursday. Updated figures released in January say 806 people died from overdoses in San Francisco—the final figure could still change as the city processes data.
The city still has one month of overdose death data left to collect for 2023.
In 2020, the previous record-setting year, 726 people died of drug overdoses in the city. Last year, 649 overdose deaths were recorded in San Francisco—that figure was surpassed in October this year, when the city recorded 692 overdose deaths, according to preliminary data.
In over 80% of overdose deaths this year, fentanyl was listed as a contributing factor in the cause of death, according to city data.
The city also listed two record-breaking months for overdose deaths: August and January, each suffering more drug deaths than any other month in the city’s history.
The preliminary data found 87 people died of overdoses in August; the number could change as the data is yet to be finalized. In January, 84 people died of overdoses, according to finalized data.
Approximately 68% of people who died of overdoses this year had a residence, according to the data from the medical examiner’s office. Of those people, about 21% lived in the Tenderloin, 19% lived in SoMa, 16% lived in Russian Hill and almost 6% lived in the Inner Mission. About 30% lived in other parts of the city, and nearly 9% had addresses outside of San Francisco.
A disproportionate number of Black people died of overdoses this year, accounting for 31% of total overdose deaths. Black people make up just 5.7% of the city’s total population, according to 2020 census data.
The Chief Medical Examiner's Office can take months to certify an overdose death before releasing the official data.