An estimated two people die of drug overdoses every day in San Francisco. The crisis shows no signs of letting up: 713 people died of overdoses last year and there have been more than 200 deaths in the first quarter of this year. The pandemic has only aggravated the crisis, as individuals needing help are isolated from their communities and services. Addiction medicine physician Dr. Hillary Kunins is San Francisco's new director of Behavioral Health Services. She joins us to discuss the city's overdose death crisis, and to lay out her approach to serving the city's residents with substance abuse and mental health needs.
New San Francisco Behavioral Health Director Dr. Hillary Kunins on Overdose Deaths
A bag of assorted pills and prescription drugs dropped off for disposal is displayed during the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at Watts Healthcare on April 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, Calif. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Dr. Hillary Kumins, director, Behavioral Health Services, San Francisco Department of Public Health