Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday. (Rachel Staples)

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province continues to focus on reducing the number of teens dying as a result of the overdose crisis that’s gripped B.C. over the past few years.

Dix’s comments follow the death of a 16-year-old Oak Bay boy whose parents say he overdosed on street drugs after being prescribed opioids multiple times last year.

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday. His parents, Rachel Staples and Brock Eurchuk, believe he took street drugs to help him sleep.

“I admire their courage in speaking out and expressing their frustrations but I think we have to take time to allow the evidence to come forward and be assessed independently,” Dix told Black Press Media Sunday.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said that the province remains focused on reducing youth overdose deaths. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

The coroner and Island Health are investigating Elliot’s death.

Dix cited the NDP’s newly created Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, as well as $300 million in funding to help fight the overdose crisis that claimed more than 1,400 lives across the province last year.

The B.C. Coroners’ Services found that the number of overdose deaths among children 10-18 years old almost doubled in 2017, up to 23 from 12 in 2016.

That year was the first time overdose deaths in children under 19 reached double-digits; between 2008 and 2015, an average of four children died each year.

In a Facebook post, Elliot’s mom said that despite asking for alternative to opioids for the four surgeries Elliot underwent in 2017, doctors continued to prescribe them.

Staples said that Elliot was once again prescribed opioids earlier this year.

“Elliot was back in the hospital for three weeks in February with a severe infection where again opioids were used for pain management,” Staples wrote.

“Elliot, being 16, was given full autonomy by the health care system to make his treatment decisions while specifically having my husband and I excluded from this information … this policy needs to be change.”

A BC Centre on Substance Use report released earlier this month found that doctors often pushed parents and relatives of addiction patients away.

“Although families of all descriptions are an extremely valuable resource in a person’s addiction care and recovery, they are too often overlooked in substance use service planning,” the report said.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Second delivery of building units for 222 Corfield in Parksville arrives March 21

Vehicles should expect intermittent single-lane alternating traffic

Public input sought on proposed cannabis retail store in Coombs

Application to be reviewed by Regional District of Nanaimo

Two nature-inspired artists display oil paintings at Qualicum gallery

Judy Maxwell and Lloyd Major depict scenes of wildlife, landscapes and the west coast

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Cougar on Island might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read