Breed To Fund ‘Wellness Hubs’ For Overdose Prevention in Upcoming Budget

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has proposed expanding addiction and behavioral health treatment as part of a budget proposal that includes three “wellness centers” for overdose prevention and other services for addicts.

The sites, originally outlined in a proposal by the Department of Public Health last year, were described as low-barrier sites designed to prevent overdose and provide links to resources such as basic medical assistance, food assistance and links to treatment.

Any “security spending that may be included will be funded by private entities,” the mayor’s office said in a release.

In a statement, Breed said: “We have expanded our resources significantly in recent years, but the challenges surrounding fentanyl require more support. While it is critical that we focus on accountability, we also need to continue to find ways to Getting people into care and treatment.”

Because safe consumption venues are illegal, City Attorney David Chiu’s office recommends that public funds, including funds from recent opioid lawsuit settlements, not be spent on safe consumption venues. Elected officials have made clear their support for a nonprofit Safe Consumer Site similar to what is currently operating in New York.

In addition to the health center, Breed’s budget also includes funding for 30 new inpatient care beds for patients with a dual diagnosis, as well as continued funding for street outreach teams that help people dealing with the behavioral health crisis. As of April, more than 18,000 calls had been routed from police to these response teams, according to the mayor’s office.

Other behavioral health priorities include funding for the implementation of Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Courts, a newly enacted state law that allows family members, healthcare providers and others to request treatment for individuals, and the expansion of Medication coverage – Complementary therapy and abstinence-based programs, which include women’s therapy communities.

The budget also seeks to prioritize investment in “culturally consistent” programs to help communities at risk of overdose. Even though the black community made up less than 6 percent of the city’s population, it accounted for 28 percent of overdose deaths over the past two years.

Breed is expected to release her citywide budget by June 1, which will include more details on health investments. The budget is expected to cover a projected deficit of $780 billion over the next two years.

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