SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One day after the governor rejected plans for San Francisco to have the nation's first safe injection site, it's back to the drawing board for the city.
It's clear most of the drug problems are in the city's Tenderloin District, which would be district 6. I went to see what solutions to the drug crisis people there would support.
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To say that drug use in the Tenderloin is rampant would be an understatement. Three politicians running for supervisor of that district say they're willing to take a shot at solving the drug crisis.
First there's Sonja Trauss. "At some point, enough is enough and we can't let people continue to inject outside. We also have to make sure that the rehabilitation is available," said Trauss.
Here's the reality -- despite spending lots of money to fund services, all three candidates will tell you there aren't enough long-term residential treatment centers in the city.
Matt Haney, another candidate, says it's time to open more of them. "Right now, people are coming here because of our failures, because we have a situation where people are on the street using and buying. We have street-level dealing, basically open air drug markets," explained Haney.
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I stopped to talk to three young men who admitted being addicted to heroin. Not one was from San Francisco.
Christine Johnson is also running for district 6. She, too, would like to see more detox beds and long-term care, while at the same time supports expanding the homeward bound program that connects those already here with families in other cities.
"We connect them back and provide a bus or plane ticket back to loved ones who can take care of them," said Johnson.
After hearing what the politicians had to say, I was curious to find out what the drug abusers have to say about solving the drug crisis in San Francisco.
After he was done shooting up twice, I asked a 26-year-old from upstate New York what it would take for him to quit. He didn't want to give me his name.
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"What it really boils down to is finding the right program and having the will power to stick with it," he said. Despite several attempts, so far he's failed.
As a recovering alcoholic, Daniel Foos, a homeless man in San Francisco knows what it's like to fail. Today is his 71st birthday.
"They're scared, they don't know what it's going to be like to be sober. Heroin addicts don't know what it's going to be like to go through the bad withdrawals," explained Foos.
It's worth mentioning that all the people on the street with whom I spoke to said they believed the safe injection sites are necessary because they offer drug counseling referral, which could lead to treatment.
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