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

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Surrey to hear news on Olympic softball qualifier bid next week

Decision, originally expected in September, was delayed by World Baseball Softball Confederation

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read