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Substance Use Among International Students from Punjab in BC’s Lower Mainland

November 30, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Health After 2020 dialogue sessions are held as part of the Health After 2020 program, which enables researchers to engage in interdisciplinary, cross-institutional collaborations that aim to create change in health and health producing systems. These collaborations respond to the broad effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and further our understanding of the determinants and experience of health and wellbeing.

This dialogue session will share results from a prospective, observational, mixed methods study that examines substance use initiators, patterns, and sequelae among Punjabi international students in BC’s Lower Mainland, as well as the lived experience of those who specifically use toxic opioids. Discussion of results, key themes, and takeaways will lend to the broader conversation around the following questions:

– What does health and wellness look like for people who are new to Canada and those who are studying here?
– How did the COVID-19 the pandemic affect this population?
– How do we foster equity in the healthcare system for folks who are studying and new to Canada? How can we leverage the connections and interdisciplinary support of health scholars and UBC?

It is hoped that this conversation will be able to influence clinical service design and policy in order to provide more evidence informed, tailored care to what appears to be a vulnerable substance using population in a worsening toxic drug supply crisis.

– Nitasha Puri, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
– Harleen Dhami, Graduate Student, Faculty of Science, UBC
– Gurkirat Singh Nijjar, Founder, Students Overcoming Substance Use Disorder and Addictions Society of Canada