Osage Alley, near where the overdoses occurred and were reversed. Photo by Annika Hom. Taken Oct. 3, 2022.

The efforts of a solitary civilian bystander reversed four overdoses near 24th and Mission streets at about 5:30 p.m., according to the fire department.

“Thanks to a fast-acting bystander who administered Narcan, all survived,” stated the department.

Members of the fire department’s Emergency Medical Services division and the Street Overdose Response Team, one of the fire department’s community paramedic street teams, responded to the scene. After administering aid to the individuals, paramedics restocked the bystander’s supply of Narcan. 

All four individuals were taken to the hospital, according to a tweet by Supervisor Hillary Ronen. 

“We are trying to restore the 24th Street corridor to a safe, vibrant place. We need more help from @SF_DPH & the St Crisis Response teams in the area!” the supervisor wrote. 

The fire department said it would offer treatment services to the survivors. 

Immediate queries to Ronen were not answered. 

A staff member at Paprika, a restaurant on 24th Street across from the southwest BART Plaza, said he saw three men who appeared to be using drugs in Osage Alley, which runs on the western edge of the plaza. The alley is visible from the restaurant’s front window. 

Emergency vehicles arrived between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., the employee said, and put up caution tape to cordon off the area, but quickly took the tape down “because no one died.” 

A fire truck, ambulance, and police officers surrounded the southwest plaza near the Muni bus stop and the restaurant Snackeria at about 6 p.m., said Marco, who was watching from his vantage point near McDonald’s. “Somebody told me somebody fell down on the floor.” By the time he arrived, the incident was over. 

Fatal overdoses continue to be a crisis in San Francisco. City data show that 625 individuals died of fentanyl overdoses in 2021, while hundreds more deaths are prevented thanks to an opioid reversal drug, naloxone, also commonly referred to as Narcan. 

In response, the city announced a new overdose prevention plan last week. The plan aims to distribute 100,000 naloxone kits by 2023, so that trained San Franciscans can “take immediate action to save lives.” 

Naloxone has saved hundreds of lives each year according to the DOPE Project. Though it is a prescription medicine, San Franciscans can pick it up at the pharmacy. 

This story is breaking and may be updated.

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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  1. Great work – needs to be more people like that in the world.

    For general reference Narcan is also available through a number of other places, including Glide on Ellis St, the Linkage Center, as well as a needle exchange center on 6th St and one around 160 Turk St.

    Not everyone who overdoses on fentanyl intends to use fentanyl. A number of people have overdosed while attempting to use another drug (eg, crack cocaine or crystal meth – accidental or intentional), or while doing no drugs at all (it’s slipped in a drink or food …?).

    But please only use Narcan if the person has stopped breathing. Else you could be causing more problems than you’re preventing.

  2. Why would we keep people alive just to overdose the following week? And how does keeping the mentally ill drug addicts around help make San Francisco safer? It seems less safe for those of us who aren’t doing drugs and just want to exist safely.

    1. “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

      JE

    2. Because they probably won’t overdose next week. Maybe they will eventually kick the habit. Maybe they are a friend or family or friend-of-family or family-of-friend that you’re glad is still around.

      1. That’s a big maybe. I’ve dealt with drug abuse in my extended family, and it’s a huge emotional drain that most are happy to ignore.

    1. Your comment is not true at all. This drug is not a SF problem, it is a world wide and certainly nationwide problem. from rural Kentucky to NYC to SF. Don’t like SF? Well….

  3. ‘Though it is a prescription medicine, San Franciscans can pick it up at the pharmacy. ‘

    No thanks. You can give my Naloxone to someone else. I have no interest in furthering the city’s decline into one big crack house. At some point compassion becomes wreckless enablement.

    1. Well, if we don’t, we’ll have a public city cemetery instead.

      I don’t think it’s a question of which is better.

  4. I don’t know that Naloxone “saves lives”… It extends them. Saving these people’s lives would be getting them off these drugs that have the potential to kill them every single time they try to get high.