Aux Etats-Unis, les citoyens d’origine asiatique font face à des barrières linguistiques, culturelles et sociales les empêchant d’accéder à des services de réduction des risques vitaux. Pour en savoir plus, en Anglais, veuillez lire les informations ci-dessous.

By Sessi Kuwabara Blanchard

The “4th wave of the overdose crisis” has arrived, tweeted Brett Giroir, a top official in the US Department of Health and Human Services, on August 15. He was referencing a surge in stimulant-involved overdose deaths, which in 2018 exceeded those involving prescription opioids, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provisionally observed.

Asian Americans could be facing this fourth wave in unsuspected numbers⁠—and they have far too often been invisible in harm reduction conversations. 

While Black and multiracial people saw increases (and whites decreases) from 2017 to 2018 in stimulant “misuse” in the month prior to being surveyed, Asians experienced by far the most intense spike, leaping from 34 people to 110 per 100,000—a 220 percent increase, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health published on August 20. Additionally, this was the only racial demographic with an increase in both past-year and past-month cocaine use in this time period. 

It’s unclear how many Asian Americans are among the provisional death toll reported by the CDC. If the overdose and overamping fatalities haven’t already hit this cross-section of the country, they could be on the way. Service programs have not prioritized or had the capacity to effectively serve Asian Americans and break down specific barriers to care—leaving these commmunities vulnerable.