Presumed overdose inside car on Haight Street prompts emergency response, two hospitalized

Photo: Camden Avery/Hoodline
By Camden Avery - Published on September 24, 2020.

Two people were hospitalized this morning after being found unconscious in a car on Haight Street, at Ashbury at 10:30 a.m. following a presumed drug overdose. For half an hour, emergency crews from the police and fire departments assembled at the intersection and partially blocked traffic while administering aid.

"An officer observed a vehicle on the street with two occupants who were slumped over," said San Francisco Police Department Ofc. Robert Rueca in an email. "The officer tried to speak with the occupants but both were unresponsive. Officers immediately rendered aid and summoned medics to the scene."

Ofc. Rueca said officers administered Narcan, the brand name for the overdose reversal medication Naloxone, which can save the life of someone undergoing an opiate overdose.

A bystander at the scene said emergency workers spent about 20 minutes trying to resuscitate the victims at the scene before an ambulance took them to the hospital.

Rueca said the people hospitalized were in "unknown medical status at this time."

Overdoses often impact people in less busy, less immediately publicized circumstances — this incident was prominent largely for occurring at a busy intersection in broad daylight. Overdoses and overdose deaths have been skyrocketing in San Francisco in the last two years, in large part because of the prevalence of fentanyl and the inconsistency of the drug's potency on the street. As the Chronicle reported earlier this month, following a new report from the city's Department of Public Health, there were 441 overdose deaths in San Francisco in 2019 — more than one per day. That represents a 70-percent leap over the previous year, and more than half of the deaths in 2019 were related to fentanyl.

Dr. Phillip Coffin, the health department’s director of substance use research and the author of the recent report, believes that the leap in OD deaths this year will be even higher than 70 percent.

Safer drug use practice recommends people using opiates work on a buddy system, stagger their doses so they can help each other in the case of an overdose, and carry Narcan.

About 15 hours ago
San Francisco Castro

LA-based deli Heroic Italian opens pop-up in Castro with delicious sandwiches and salads

Los Angeles-based sandwich outfit Heroic Italian recently got its feet wet in the Bay Area, launching a pop-up in mid-December inside wine and spirits shop Swirl on Castro (572 Castro Street). With online ordering available, it's a quick and delicious lunch or dinner option — and if you pick it up yourself rather than opting for DoorDash delivery, you can snag a bottle of wine too. Read More

Jan 14, 2021
San Francisco Financial District Union Square

Marshalls store in the Financial District to close on January 30

SF’s only Marshalls location has its days numbered, as the discount apparel retailer will close its Market Street store. Read More

Jan 13, 2021
San Francisco Bayview Hunters Point Polk

Two new homeless Navigation Centers announced for Bayview and Polk Gulch

Supportive housing for more 115 people is coming to a Bayview parking lot, while 43 beds will be available at Post and Hyde Streets.] Read More

Jan 13, 2021
San Francisco Bayview Excelsior Visitacion Valley

Revamp of Jerry Garcia Amphitheater aims to improve access to McLaren Park venue

Renovations to the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park are underway to make the site more accessible and improve facilities for concert performers and attendees alike. Read More