Overdoses, Not COVID-19, Drive Spike In LA Homeless Deaths


A brand new report reveals that almost 2,000 homeless individuals died in Los Angeles County through the first 12 months of the pandemic, a 56% enhance from the earlier 12 months, pushed primarily by drug overdoses.

LOS ANGELES — Practically 2,000 homeless individuals died in Los Angeles County through the first 12 months of the pandemic, a 56% enhance from the earlier 12 months, pushed primarily by drug overdoses, officers stated.

The report stated that between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, the county recorded 1,988 deaths of homeless individuals, in comparison with 1,271 deaths in the identical interval a 12 months earlier.

Throughout each of these years, drug overdose was the main explanation for dying, however elevated by 78% through the first 12 months of the pandemic. Within the pre-pandemic 12 months, the Division of Public Well being reported 402 deadly overdoses. Within the 12 months following the outbreak, the quantity almost doubled to 715, the report stated.

The report discovered that 179 homeless individuals died of COVID-19 through the first 12 months of the pandemic.

“The findings of this report mirror the true state of emergency,” First District Supervisor Hilda El Solis stated in a press release. “In a civil society, it’s unacceptable for any of us to not be deeply disturbed by the stunning wants that have been recorded on this 12 months’s homeless mortality report.”

A examine of San Francisco homeless deaths launched final month confirmed related findings: Between March 2020 and March 2021, San Francisco recorded 331 homeless deaths, greater than double the quantity from the earlier 12 months, the main explanation for dying. Drug overdose. , in accordance with a examine carried out by the College of California San Francisco and town’s Division of Public Well being.

Los Angeles County is residence to the Skid Row neighborhood, which is infamous for poverty and medicines and the place LA’s homeless inhabitants was largely confined. Now, tents, cardboard shelters, battered RVs and makeshift plywood constructions are acquainted sights within the nation’s second most populous metropolis.

Officers stated the pandemic exacerbated an already rising drug and overdose drawback, pushed by the unfold of fentanyl. Methamphetamine was concerned within the majority of deaths, at 75%, virtually the identical because the earlier 12 months. However the involvement of fentanyl in overdose deaths almost doubled to 45%, the report stated.

“The impression of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals experiencing homelessness clearly outweighs the instant results of this new and lethal virus,” stated Los Angeles Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer. “The pandemic has added to the stress already burdening this weak inhabitants.”

The report stated youth, Latino and black individuals experiencing homelessness elevated deadly overdoses.

Coronary coronary heart illness was the second main explanation for dying within the first 12 months of the pandemic, the report stated, accounting for 309 deaths and a virtually 30% enhance from the earlier 12 months.



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