Opioid Pandemic

Fraser Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer’s Report on South Asians1

  • Significant increase in overdose deaths in South Asians males under the age of 40 years old with
    documented mental health conditions and alcohol and substance abuse addictions
  • Drug toxicity deaths increased by 255% from 2015-18 compared to 138% among non-South
    Asians
  • Fatal overdoses 186 per 1,000 (18.6%) in South Asian community compared to 110 fatal overdoses
    per 1,000 (11%) among non-South Asians, a difference of 7.6% higher fatality rate
  • Identified among the community’s most vulnerable populations through a needs assessment report

Anecdotal evidence from service providers and community partners working with vulnerable and
marginalized community desperate for South Asian centered services and intervention

Community Needs

  • South Asians are a racialized community underserved by the current healthcare system; individuals and their families experience significant challenges in accessing services related to substance abuse, mental health, and socioeconomic factors
  • Limited services addressing the South Asian needs, resulting in low engagement in existing services
  • Cultural, linguistic, social, financial and structural barriers to accessing supports
  • Social stigma and biases within the community associated with alcohol and substance abuse and mental health disorders
A critical need for culturally appropriate, low barrier health and social services

Goals and Outcomes

  • Provides rapid culturally appropriate services
  • Reduces language barriers to accessing services
  • Addresses multiple needs and concerns at a single site
  • Provides consistency with accessing and receiving services
  • Reduces the number of times clients share their stories
  • Encourages collaboration with community partners
  • Identifies vulnerable clients and advocacy needed
  • Increases sharing of knowledge and expertise
  • Identifies service gaps and drives the creation of innovative solutions
  • Strengthens and builds healthier communities