In April 2016, the opioid overdose epidemic was declared a public health emergency by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall. There were more than 1400 deaths by overdose in BC in 2017, with 1,208 occurring in the first ten months of the year. Improving access to appropriate and effective treatments and supports was deemed critical to preventing overdoses before they happen.
Last year, we partnered with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, the First Nations Health Authority and the General Practice Services Committee to host two journey mapping sessions to explore the current state of treatment options and support for people with substance use concerns in primary care settings. Journey maps are visual tools for capturing the experiences of individuals or groups interacting with a complex process. Over 120 health care providers, patients/peers and organizational representatives contributed to the creation of six distinct journey maps, including maps specific to Indigenous peers.
All six maps are available to anyone wanting to learn more about the current state of primary care in addressing substance use, from both the health care provider and the patient/peer perspectives. We also published a report on the process behind each map, and the major themes that emerged. These resources may be of value to anyone seeking to learn more about the opioid epidemic, supporting substance users, and addressing stigma in primary care. We invite you to explore them.