B.C. 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.”

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.

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

“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.

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.

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 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.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fire, theft, fights: Homeless population disturbs east Abbotsford neighbourhood

Outreach worker says problems are offshoot of housing crisis

Province has been missing in action on flood protection, experts say

Political will to improve dikes lacking, says B.C.’s former flood safety chief

VIDEO: Fiery crash closes Highway 1 at 232 Street

One vehicle burst into flames, victim airlifted to hospital following Thursday evening collision

Becoming Abbotsford Made

New free basketball camp giving local youth a professional experience

Abbotsford high school football talent sign with university teams

Bateman’s McGennis, Abby’s Uko continue football journeys at post-secondary level

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Former B.C. police chief dies in ATV accident

Ex-Nelson top cop began his career in Vancouver

5 to start your day

The latest on mobility pricing, thieves target a farmer’s market, and more

Referendum in Ireland would repeal strict ban on abortion

Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country’s strict ban on most abortions.

Lava from Hawaii volcano enters ocean from 3 flows

The Kilauea volcano has been gushing lava on the big island of Hawaii for the past three weeks.

Summit talk turns warmer; Trump says ‘talking to them now’

North Korea issued a statement saying it was still “willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities” to reconsider talks

Harvey Weinstein turns himself in, arraigned on rape, criminal charges

Harvey Weinstein arraigned on rape, criminal sex act charges following allegations of sexual misconduct

Explosion at Mississauga restaurant sends 15 to hospital

Hunt underway for two suspects connected to Mississauga, Ont., blast

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Most Read