‘Home-based withdrawal management and detox program’ for Surrey, Delta and White Rock

Program will have an ethno-specific focus for South Asian community


OPTIONS Community Services (OCS), a non-profit society, has received approved funding through Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) to operate a ‘home-based withdrawal management and detox program’ to serve the Surrey, Delta and White Rock regions. This much-needed community-driven initiative will operate over two years as a pilot from the funded $2.6 million received from Health Canada.

The demand for detox services in these communities outstrips the availability of resources. Wait times for government-funded rehab centres are anywhere from 30-60 days currently.  The consequences of substance use for the individual, family, workplace, and community are overwhelming and devastating, while the costs in terms of money, relationships, reputation, and family wellbeing is immense and can last for generations.  A 2014 study suggested that $15.7 billion dollars in productivity was lost to the Canadian economy as a result of substance misuse.

The program will have an ethno-specific focus for the South Asian community. The provision of outreach reduces the barriers to access services so that individuals can continue to participate in their familial responsibilities, culture, employment, etc. Outreach workers alongside medical staff will give support to the individual and their families, providing wrap-around resources where needed.

“I would like to congratulate Options Community Services (OCS) on the launch of the ‘home-based withdrawal management and detox program’,” said Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai. “It is an important program that will provide Surrey residents with the support and resources needed to combat substance abuse. OCS is a pillar in the community, and I am pleased to see such a pilot program beginning in the city. As the Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre for the past seven years, I have heard first-hand how substance abuse can affect those most vulnerable, and I have witnessed the increased demand for such programs. The ‘home-based withdrawal management and detox program’ is one such program. I look forward to watching it succeed.”

OCS, with over 600 staff and 19 plus locations throughout the South Fraser has a wide range of services from supporting new families and new Canadians, to Work BC programs, mental health programs, shelters, transitional houses, Fraser crisis lines and supported housing programs, to name a few.

OCS will partner with Dr. Julian Somers and his research team who will be assisting in the evaluation of this initiative.

The pilot program will be launched in April 2023. In April, you can refer to www.options.bc.ca for more information about how to access the project.


This home-based program was developed after the Options Community Services team examined data showing that South Asian men in BC were dying at an alarming rate from drug toxicity, increasing 250% between 2015 and 2018.

66% of these men were under 40 years old, 89% lived in a private residence and 65% lived with family, while 51% were fathers to children under 18 years of age.

The program will require an approval from the patient themselves and involve a minimum of five days of home visits by a nurse, doctor, and outreach worker. If they choose to do so, the patient will then have access to referrals to the next steps of recovery, such as counselling and other treatment options.

There will be a careful medical screening done in advance to ensure that the individual who needs to detox is able to do so safety from a home setting.

There are cultural differences within the South Asian community, and concerns about privacy, therefore the hope is that this program will help those in need to access detox that may not otherwise choose to access the current detox and withdrawal management offerings. There are also often long waits to access detox in BC, overall.


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