A final report from San Francisco’s Methamphetamine Task Force recommends The City invest in creating a Meth Sobering Center for individuals to seeking treatment and to connect with city services.

Mayor London Breed and Director of the Public Health Department Grant Colfax announced Tuesday morning at a press conference that the department is currently identifying a location to house the sobering center and working on the other 16 recommendations made by the task force.

City officials said the sobering center will help reduce the number of individuals sent to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital who may not necessarily need emergency or psychiatric services. The center would serve as a location police and fire staff could send people using meth to seek treatment.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, co-chair of the task force, said in a statement that The City has an ongoing meth problem and can be seen in on the streets, emergency rooms, jails and in meth-related overdoses:

“The recommendations presented in this report include life-saving interventions and long-term solutions to The City’s meth epidemic.”

City data showed more than 126 people died of meth overdoses, and deaths resulting from overdoses have risen 500 percent over the last 10 years.

The task force consisted of public health professionals, researchers, substance abuse treatment providers, emergency responders, criminal justice and law enforcement officials, drug policy experts, and people with substance use experience.

It made other recommendations in its final report, include prioritizing housing for individuals seeking treatment, and increasing the availability of indoor safe places where individuals can access low-threshold harm reduction and basic services.

Indoor spaces for services could be provided in drop-in centers, shelters and Navigation Centers, the report said.

Colfax, who co-chaired the task force with Mandelman, said in a statement:

“The recommendations of the Meth Task Force will save lives and improve quality of life for all San Franciscans.”

A final report from the Department of Public Health can be found on its website.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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