San Francisco

San Francisco City Workers Get Narcan Training

It's a crisis. That's how one San Francisco supervisor describes the opioid epidemic the city is facing.

On Wednesday, City Hall staff was invited to get trained on using the life-saving drug narcan.

Supervisor Matt Haney says he plans to carry narcan in case he needs to help someone who has overdosed. He expects his staff to as well and for the community to be informed.

Near Civic Center, Kenny Lunsford says he's very familiar with narcan. He's used it to help people who have overdosed.

"I have out here in these streets and they make it easily accessible," Lunsford said.

Lunsford says that ongoing accessibility in San Francisco is critical, especially now.

Back at City Hall, Haney invited supervisors and staff for training on how to use naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose.

"It's the most deadly epidemic facing our city," Haney said. "It's a crisis."

Haney has called for declaring a public health crisis. City numbers show opioid overdose deaths jumped by 31% from 2017 to 2018. Fentanyl deaths more than doubled.

"I would ask members of our community to understand what narcan is, to know how to access, to know how to apply it if that's something that you're comfortable with," Haney said.

Haney realizes that some may argue that a person should not be using these drugs or should be in treatment. He says that's not possible if they don't survive.

"You don't have to respond, but also most people want to do good. They want to know what to do," Haney said.

Haney thinks the city isn't doing enough. The Mayor's Office points out all the effective programs, nurses and outreach workers -- narcan has been distributed here for years.

Haney also says there will be a community training on narcan coming up soon.

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