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

Williams Lake hoping to tackle lake weed problem with weed harvester

City council approved buying the equipment in advance of getting permits to use it

BC Sheriff Service implements COVID-19 measures at courthouse

Visitors will notice a checkpoint outside the building

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

Most Read