Photos of Elliot Eurchuk at different stages of his short life. The Oak Bay teen died of a fentanyl overdose in April 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)

Coroner emphasizes jury’s recommendations in B.C. teen’s overdose death

16-year-old Elliot Eurchuk died of a fentanyl overdose in 2018

The B.C. Coroner’s office on Monday released additional comments following an inquest into the overdose death of 16-year-old Oak Bay resident Elliot Eurchuk.

Eurchuk was found dead in his home on April 20, 2018. His death was ruled accidental due to a fentanyl overdose with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine also in his body.

READ MORE: Oak Bay mom describes finding son on first day of inquest into overdose death

The inquest was held last June, at the request of his parents, Brock Eurchuk and Rachel Staples, to determine what could be done in future to prevent similar deaths.

It heard from individuals and agencies in Eurchuk’s life that he had used opioids and other narcotics before he was prescribed opioids for four major surgeries in 2017 due to sports injuries.

The jury made seven recommendations for the ministries of health and education and the CEO of the Island Health Authority, mainly to develop a plan to transition youth from health-care facilities back to community-based services, as well as a process for early detection of mental health and substance use disorders within schools.

Monday’s release included further comments from presiding coroner Michael Egilson, reinforcing each of the recommendations.

“The jury heard evidence from multiple mental health professionals that early detection of mental health and substance use disorders was the best way to prevent prolonged drug use and dependence in youth,” he wrote.

He also noted that the jury heard that consistent transition planning from acute care facilities to community-based services was required to properly support young people, and that Vancouver Island does not have any long-term residential treatment facilities for youth.

The inquest heard that Eurchuk had been in and out of hospital care due to narcotic use. He overdosed in hospital in February 2018 but was brought back to life by the overdose-reversal drug Naloxone. Soon after, in March 2018, he was brought to the emergency department at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver in a decreased state of consciousness. He was there only for a short time and no drug testing was undertaken.

The inquest reported that Eurchuk “usually obtained his drug supply through a website where drugs are rated by visitors.”

Eurchuk’s parents have said that on Feb. 14, 2018 – four days after their son’s overdose in Victoria General Hospital – he was discharged with no plan or supports in place to address the addiction.

The B.C. Coroners Service is not a fault-finding agency and the jury does not make any finding of legal responsibility.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Drugsfentanylmental healthopioid crisisTeen overdose

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

Just Posted

Maple Ridge HandyDART driver worried about safety with COVID-19

Union says operators need more personal protective equipment

Ridge Meadows RCMP release year end review video

List detachment’s successes throughout 2019

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows issue fire bans

Cities say poor air quality from smoke could further exacerbate current COVID-19 climate

VIDEO: RCMP bring 7 p.m. parade to front doors of Ridge Meadows Hospital

Cruisers with lights and sirens blaring give boost to those working within

WEATHER: Mainly cloudy with a chance of showers

Temperatures to reach a high of 11 C

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Most Read