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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Protesters set up beside Vernon highway

The peaceful protest is in solidarty with Wet’suwet’en

Suspects wanted in attempted robbery of Vernon senior

Police are searching for man behind attempted assault last month

Mental health disorders, suicide on the rise among Okanagan students

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Okanagan youth drink, smoke and have sex more than anywhere else in B.C.

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

Cyclist hit by semi truck in Vernon

Cyclist sustained non-life threatening injuries; police investigating

BREAKING: Protesters set up blockade on CP Rail tracks near Salmon Arm

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Princeton man hospitalized while facing charges in child sex abuse case

A Princeton man, accused in a child sex abuse case, was unable… Continue reading

Okanagan researchers fighting to keep Canadian wine thriving

Throughout their growth, grapes must survive a wide range of diseases before being made into wine.

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

RDOS hears concerns about 5G wireless technology

Potential safety concerns raised as communications technology expands

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

Most Read