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

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Central Saanich Police prepared for afternoon shut-down of Highway 17

Sgt. Paul Brailey questions efficacy of protest

Saanich students get on board Walking School Bus

Rogers Elementary students led by teachers and Saanich Police in new initiative

Fiddler on the Roof brings timely message to Oak Bay stage

Musical starts Friday in Dave Dunnet Theatre

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day in Victoria

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read