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The Opioid Epidemic in SF

Please join us to learn about the state of the opioid epidemic in San Francisco, its implications for people experiencing homelessness, and what the city is doing to help those struggling with addiction. Bring your questions for Laura Thomas from Drug Policy Alliance; Paula Lum, MD MPH, FASAM from UCSF; Terry Morris from San Francisco AIDS Foundation; and Barry Zevin from the San Francisco Department of Public Health at ECS's Fall Speaker Series, hosted by our friends at Zendesk. 


What is the Opioid Epidemic?


Nationwide, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled, matching the increase in the amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors' offices, according to the CDC. San Francisco has not escaped this reality; used needles have become an increasingly prevalent sight on our city streets.To address this issue, San Francisco has formed the Safe Injection Services Task Force. You can read their recent recommendations report here.


Drinks and light bites will be served. Suggested donation is $5.



About the Speakers:


Laura Thomas


Laura Thomas is the deputy state director, California, of the Drug Policy Alliance. She oversees the organization's municipal drug strategy work in San Francisco and leads DPA's California harm reduction and public health legislation. She has over 25 years of experience in HIV, first becoming involved in AIDS activism with ACT UP in San Francisco. Before joining DPA, she was a consultant specializing in HIV policy and planning. She has also worked for Tenderloin Health, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Thomas has been a syringe access volunteer for more than 18 years. She serves on the HIV Prevention Planning Council and is on the Steering Committee for the national HIV Prevention Justice Alliance.


Terry Morris


Terry Morris was introduced to harm reduction methods as a volunteer outreach worker with the Atlanta Harm Reduction Center in 2001. Terry has developed and delivered harm reduction programming with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation since 2005. As Program Director, Terry works with a dedicated team of staff, volunteers, collaborative partners, and program participants to end HIV/Hepatitis C transmission among people who inject in our city, to prevent overdose deaths, and to connect folks to medical care, testing, substance use and mental health counseling, health education, community, and pathways to health and healing at the 6th Street Harm Reduction Center and through the program's mobile and homeless encampment outreach.


Paula Lum, MD MPH, FASAM


Paula Lum, MD MPH, FASAM is an HIV primary care physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.  Her clinical practice, teaching, and research focus on the health of marginalized urban populations, especially persons who use drugs. She is board certified in internal medicine and ABAM-certified in addiction medicine.  She also serves as the Program Director of the new UCSF Primary Care Addiction Medicine Fellowship, which prepares primary care physicians to become leaders in the care of persons with substance use disorders in the safety net communities of San Francisco.


Berry Zevin, MD


Barry Zevin is medical director of Street Medicine and Shelter Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health. He also serves as medical director of SFDPH Transgender Health Services. He has 25 years of experience as a physician delivering healthcare to San Francisco's homeless residents. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. His special interests include healthcare for people experiencing homelessness, comprehensive healthcare for people who use substances, transgender healthcare, HIV and Hepatitis C, and harm reduction addiction medicine. He is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr. Zevin has provided leadership for many innovative SFDPH projects including the current low barrier buprenorphine project to improve access to treatment for addiction disorders for individuals experiencing homelessness.