RCMP and the BC Coroners Service are investigating after a 14-year-old boy died from a suspected drug overdose over the weekend.
The suspected overdose occurred the afternoon of Saturday, May 29, according to RCMP. Police are releasing few other details but are asking for the public’s help.
“In that sense obviously, we want to know as much as we possibly can about what happened to the young man in his last hours that led to this,” said Const. Maury Tyre of Campbell River RCMP. “Our hearts go out to the family of the young man that was lost.”
The teen was a student in the Campbell River School District, which confirmed his “unexpected” passing.
“The district has activated our critical incident response team to assist students and staff in dealing with this loss and additional counselling supports have been made available,” the district said in a statement.
“We are extremely saddened by this student’s passing and our thoughts are with their family and friends.”
CHEK News has been told he attended a middle school in the city.
Other students CHEK News spoke to expressed their disbelief.
“I thought it was the most horrible thing that could have happened like he was just 14,” said Brayden Alsager, a 17-year-old student at Timberline Secondary School.
“That hits home. Yeah, I can’t imagine that happening to one of my friends,” said another student who is 14.
If determined to be an overdose this would be the latest drug-related death on Vancouver Island involving a young person.
A 12-year-old girl died in Victoria on April 14 and a 17-year-old Nanaimo girl died two weeks later.
“If you’re a naive user which means you’re just doing it for experimenting or just for fun you’re greatly at risk, even more so than people who are addicted,” said Leslie McBain, Co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm, a support group for parents that now has 2200 members across Canada.
McBain says every drug has fentanyl in it and for anyone using it, it is like playing Russian Roulette.
Campbell River RCMP is asking anyone with first-hand information of the boy’s death to contact them at 250-286-6221.