Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say fell they victim to a health care system that allowed him to choose the terms of is own treatment following a series of surgeries, watching helplessly as he became addicted to painkillers before turning to street drugs.
The 16-year-old died at his Oak Bay home on Friday after he took street drugs to help him sleep, according to his parents Brock Eurchuck and Rachel Staples.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy said she had reached out to Elliot’s parents and hoped to meet them later this week.
“As a mother of a son, I can’t imagine anything worse than this,” said Darcy adding that she was looking forward to Island Health’s review of the death.
“Everyone is sad and teachers are sad and like everyone, there’s a bad mood because you knew Elliot and he was [a] good guy,” said a Grade 11 Oak Bay High student Monday.
“It’s tragic when any person this young dies in such a tragic way let alone someone that’s close to me, you know,” said another student.
The Greater Victoria School District says a critical response team is at Oak Bay High this week to provide counselling support to students.
“It would be naive to think that with the opioids situation that it doesn’t have [an] effect in our young communities,” said Greater Victoria school district superintendent Piet Langstraat.
He says going forward the district will work to provide more resources to address the crisis.
“It’s a stark reminder that we have our young people and adults among us that struggle,” he added.