At a public announcement for a county wide Meth Sobering Center, SF District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, said, “San Francisco has a meth problem; I think we all know it. We all see it on our streets, in our hospital emergency rooms, in our jails and too often in the growing lists of San Franciscans dying from overdoses.”
The Bay Area Reporter: “The data backs him up. There has been a 500% increase in meth overdose deaths within the past decade and 126 people in San Francisco died of a meth overdose in 2018, according to city statistics.”
In a news release, Mayor London Breed said that a sobering center will help reduce visits to the psychiatric emergency services at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and hospital emergency rooms throughout the city, where people who are under the influence of drugs, but not in need of emergency medical or psychiatric services, often seek care.
The task force also recommended that the city expand the availability of treatment beds, and that the city add “more behavioral health resources to accompany police on calls regarding people in crisis,” according to the release from the mayor’s office.
“In addition to creating a safe place for people to sober up, the center will be a place where we can connect those individuals to services,” Breed said. “Our plan is to have at least one of these centers open in the next three to six months.”
The task force was convened in February and is the second dealing with the topic; then-Mayor Gavin Newsom convened a 2005 task force to deal with the problem of meth use in the LGBT community specifically.