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

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Kitimat Council increasing mayor, councillor compensation after survey says they are “much lower than the B.C. average”

The pay raise was initially scheduled for April, but was put on hold for COVID-19 priorities.

In Our Valley: Joanne Havery

Havery was the food services manager at the Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club for 16 years.

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read