B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Vancouver Island parents left grieving the death of their teen son say his unintentional overdose was one following years of being prescribed opioids while recovering from major surgeries.

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.

In a post to social media, Staples said her son’s death has come after “a very difficult past two years.”

Staples said that despite her and her husband’s requests to doctors for alternative pain remedies, Elliot was prescribed opioids for four major surgeries in 2017, including two for a fractured jaw and two shoulder reconstructions – all within four months time.

READ MORE: B.C. mom whose two sons overdosed urges doctors to check prescription history

READ MORE: Nurse practitioners in B.C. can now prescribe opioid substitutes

“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 changed,” Staples said.

“Parents need a say in their child’s health care.”

In 2016, The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. rolled out new mandatory standards for prescribing opioids and other addictive drugs, replacing guidelines that acted more like recommendations for prescribing pain medications.

Doctors who don’t follow the guidelines can now face complaint hearings and disciplinary actions like fines and licence suspensions if reported to the college.

READ MORE: As feds ease access to prescription heroin, B.C. could see relief

READ MORE: Physiotherapy could help combat B.C.’s opioid crisis

Doctors in B.C. also have access to a real-time database called PharmaNet, which tracks dispensed prescriptions in one central data system.

Black Press Media has put a request for comment into the college and Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Teen remembered for love of sports, humour

Staples said her son had a sharp wit, and humour far beyond his age.

She said he loved all kinds of sports from rugby to soccer to hiking, and was an avid reader.

“He greatly valued his friendships and approached friends with sincere consideration and genuine kindness,” she said.

Elliot had hopes of pursuing a career in medicine, with a love for chemistry.

“For those who really knew Elliot, you knew he would give the shirt off his back to help you,” she said. “We will all miss quirky, funny sporty Elliot.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Most Read