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.”

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

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.

“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.

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

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.”

Resources are available for those affected by the trauma.

Kids Help Phone offers 24/7 counselling online at kidshelpphone.ca or by phone 1-800-668-6868.

The 24-hour Vancouver Island Crisis Line is an Island Health contracted service offers text 250-800-3806, online chat vicrisis.ca and phone services 1-888-494-3888.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@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

CRD explores option to use Oak Bay Lodge for people who are homeless

Motion asks staff to work with BC Housing, Island Health on possibilities

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

Metchosin to test tsunami notification on Thursday evening

Approximately 80 to 100 residents in tsunami-zone

B.C. residents can go to the Royal BC Museum for half price all summer

Museum reopening in phases, COVID-19 measures in place

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

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

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Most Read