San Francisco to distribute addiction drug directly to users
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco’s mayor wants to send medical teams out to city streets to distribute a drug that curbs heroin cravings in opioid addicts.
Mayor Mark Farrell calls the initiative a first in the country. He says he will allocate $6 million for 10 new public health clinicians to provide the opioid treatment medicine buprenorphine directly to users.
Buprenorphine is a daily pill or dissolvable strip that reduces cravings and alleviates withdrawal symptoms. It also reduces risk of overdose.
Video and photos of people shooting up drugs in public have added to San Francisco’s reputation as being overrun by addicts and homeless people.
The city has an estimated 22,500 injection drug users and half report using heroin.
Supporters say a direct approach will help users who won’t go to clinics.