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

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Outrage over illegal dumping at Nakusp Landfill

Online photo shows garbage bags, cardboard boxes and bottles thrown around landfill container

Don’t avoid doctor’s office if you need help, say Kootenay Boundary physicians

There are alternatives to coming in physically to offices, docs say

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Air Canada extends suspension of flights in and out of West Kootenay Regional Airport until April 30

It’s still unknown if flights will resume at Castlegar’s airport on May 1

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

Most Read